United States national team sends Weston McKennie back to Juventus after protocol breach

Taylor Twellman reacts after Weston McKennie was suspended from the USMNT following the 1-1 draw against Canada. (1:17).
Gregg Berhalter, United States national team manager, sent Weston McKennie, midfielder to club side Juventus in advance of Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Honduras. The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Monday.

This decision follows McKennie's suspension for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Canada in World Cup qualifying. McKennie posted later on Instagram that his suspension was caused by him violating COVID-19 protocols.

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Berhalter stated that McKennie's availability for the Honduras match was "remaining to be seen". Monday saw the suspension of McKennie.

Berhalter released a statement saying that Weston would be returning to Italy, and would not be able to play in the match against Honduras because of a violation to team policy. "Those who are part of the U.S. National Team Men's have high expectations and it is important that everyone accountable for their actions."

Jackson Yueill, a San Jose Earthquakes midfielder, has been called in to replace McKennie. After injuring his ankle against Canada, Sergino Dest, Barcelona's defender, was also announced as being out of the Honduras match.

The U.S. will have 23 players available to select on Wednesday, with Zack Steffen, goalkeeper, testing positive for COVID-19, and Giovanni Reyna, a hamstring strain from the 0-0 match against El Salvador. Sean Johnson, New York City FC goalkeeper, took Steffen's place on the roster.

McKennie's absence will be felt deeply, but Berhalter clearly believed he could not help but discipline the Juventus midfielder for violating the team protocol.

This isn't McKennie's first instance of such behavior. Andrea Pirlo, then-Juventus manager, suspended him in April after he was discovered to have hosted a party with Juventus teammates Paulo Dybala (and Arthur). Police also fined him.