United States youth international and former FC Dallas Academy player Weston McKennie is joining FC Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga.
The 18-year old midfielder will be playing with the U-19s for now.
Welcome to the #RoyalBlues! youth international Weston #McKennie has signed for the #S04 @knappenschmiede U19s! pic.twitter.com/JtOoOtcXFC— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) August 30, 2016
McKennie has been playing with the U.S. U-20 national team and spending time training with Schalke all summer. FC Dallas made a big push to sign him (he was also committed to attend the University of Virginia), but the allure of Europe proved to be too strong.
"I'm really looking forward to Germany and Schalke 04," says the 18-year-old. "I really want to establish as a professional in Europe. For that I'll give everything every day. "
Top Drawer Soccer put together a highlight package of the newest American abroad.
Fellow American youth international Haji Wright is also currently with Schalke, after joining in April. Die Knapper finished in fifth place in the Bundesliga last season. Schalke II competes in the Regionalliga West (the fourth level of German soccer).
Here's what Schalke had to say about its new signing (via Google Translate):
"He convinced us as robust and play smart player," says Knapp forging -Director Oliver Ruhnert. "In his home country he is one of the top footballers of his year. He is also a youth international and was also captain of his team. He brings with him a lot, even in terms of mentality. We are convinced that Weston is able to play professional football. Therefore, this transfer is useful. "Germany knows born in Texas Little Elm McKennie way already:" He has lived here for several years, since his father was stationed as a soldier, "says Ruhnert.
It's been a rapid rise for a player who was left off of the roster for the U-17 World Cup. Best of luck to McKennie as he begins his professional career.