U.S. Soccer announced that midfielders Weston McKennie and Luca de la Torre have departed training camp in advance of Tuesday’s friendly against Italy. There will not be any replacements, with the current roster remaining at 24 players.
McKennie “has been diagnosed with an injury to his left hamstring tendon and has returned to Schalke to begin rehabilitation”. The 20-year-old started and played 76 minutes in the 3-0 friendly loss to England. McKennie has been enjoying a fine season with Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, scoring two goals in 15 appearances across all competitions. He reportedly dealt with several injury issues in the past, including a “partial MCL rupture” last season and a “right adductor injury” that kept him out of October’s friendlies.
De la Torre stayed in England following the match, and returned to training with Fulham. The 20-year-old made his national team debut in June’s 2-1 friendly loss to Ireland, playing 13 minutes as a substitute. He’s appeared sporadically for Fulham this season in cup matches, but has yet to make his Premier League debut.
The USMNT entered this camp with the hope of ending 2018 on a promising note, led by a squad of young talent that would provide optimism following the failure to qualify for the World Cup. However, this excitement has been worn down by injuries, travel, and youthful inexperience against a strong opponent. While there’s always a chance of Dave Sarachan earning a result (or at least a moral victory) against Italy, it’s likely that the rebuild will begin in earnest once U.S. Soccer officially hires “a permanent head coach... who has a real plan and a style of how [they] want to play.”