Weston McKennie Juventus press conference -Sept. 7, 2020

US men's national team star and former FC Dallas academy product Weston McKennie said it was an "honor" to become the first American to sign for Italian champions Juventus and said he hoped his journey would inspire other young players from the US.


McKennie was speaking at a press conference as he was officially unveiled at the Turin club on Monday following his transfer from Schalke last month.


"It is a great honor to be the first American player in the history of Juventus," he said. "Having the opportunity to wear this shirt, representing my country and bringing young Americans closer to football makes me proud.


"Juventus is an international club, it is famous all over the world. In the United States, shops sell the jerseys. If I can contribute to further growth of the brand, I will be delighted."


McKennie spent seven years in the FC Dallas academy before signing for Schalke in 2016. The midfielder progressed to become a regular for the Bundesliga side as well as for his country. After much speculation over his future during the summer, the 22-year-old moved to Juventus on an initial one-year loan deal with an option to buy.


And McKennie said it was an easy decision to join a team that have won nine consecutive Serie A titles.


"The idea of coming to play here, in a club with a great history, immediately thrilled me," he said. "I got to know football as a child in Germany and when I had to choose between this sport and American football, I chose football, and here I am!


"There was no need to convince me to come to Juventus, because being here is a dream that has become a reality."

And, of course, there's also the bonus of getting to play with five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.


"Playing with Cristiano Ronaldo, seeing how he moves and how he works will bring me great benefits," McKennie, who will wear the No. 14 jersey at Juventus, added.


McKennie has been an outspoken voice in the movement to end systemic racism and police brutality and said that his stance was fully backed by his new club.


"In Germany, I committed myself to the Black Lives Matter movement: we want to take as much action as possible in order to change the situation," he said. "I had full support in Germany and it's great that I can carry on what I believe in here in Italy as well, as the Club immediately showed support in my commitment."