'My mom would bust my chops' - Rising U.S. talent McKennie not acting like a star

Weston McKennie SchalkeGetty Images

Rising American midfielder Weston McKennie relies on his mother to keep him humble, saying she would "bust my chops" if he started behaving like a star. 

The 19-year-old has become a regular with Schalke this season, leading many to pencil him in as a future U.S. national team fixture. 

But the Texas native isn't letting his success get to his head, and McKennie says that his mom is a driving force in keeping him level headed. 

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"I know exactly who I am and where I come from," McKennie told Kicker. "And my mom would bust my chops if I would suddenly start behaving like a star."

He might not act like a star, but the holding midfielder is showing signs he could develop into one. McKennie started three straight Bundesliga games in September before being sidelined with a thigh injury. 

Now back in the squad, McKennie said that he developed his aggressive playing style from his home country's most popular sport. 

"I'm a player who attacks his opponents aggressively and puts them under pressure physically," McKennie said. "I think that's when the American football player inside me comes out."

McKennie is hoping he gets his first call-up to the senior U.S. squad for November's friendly against Portugal — the team's first match after it was knocked out of contention for the 2018 World Cup. 

"I have the hope that I will be considered for the game against Portugal on Nov. 14. I'd very happy about this," he said. "After failing to qualify for the World Cup, there is the chance to reset a few things. Maybe I can profit from that, even though I am very sad that my country won't take part in the tournament in Russia."