David Wagner - Weston McKennie - Schalke 04
Reuters

David Wagner, one-time USMNT player and ex-manager of Weston McKennie, out at Schalke 04

David Wagner, once a striker for the US men's national team and more recently US star Weston McKennie's last manager in Germany, was relieved of his duties as Schalke 04 boss on Sunday after an 18-match winless run in league play. 

Wagner's Schalke had also gone 17 games in all competitions without a victory, dating back to a 3-2 German Cup win over Hertha Berlin in the round of 16 last February.

Wagner took the helm at Schalke prior to the 2019-2020 campaign. And under Wagner, McKennie enjoyed a breakout season, making 32 appearances in all competitions and being one of his side's most consistent players before securing a loan with a transfer option to Italian giants Juventus this summer.

Schalke also enjoyed an excellent first half of the season, posing a record of 8W-6D-3L prior to the Bundesliga winter break. But they would win only twice in all competitions once the season resumed, dooming the club to a second consecutive season without European football and prompting the sale of some of its more lucrative prospects, including McKennie.

Wagner remained in charge for the opening two weeks of the current Bundesliga campaign, watching as his team suffered an 8-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in Week 1 and a 3-1 loss to Werder Bremen — survivors of last year's relegation playoff — on Saturday.

The German-born Wagner made eight appearances for the US between 1996 and 1998, having gained eligibility via his American-born stepfather. As a manager, his crowning achievement was helping Huddersfield Town win promotion to the Premier League in May of 2017, and guiding them to survival of a relegation threat the following season.


MLS Unites to VOTE

Join Major League Soccer, Black Players for Change, and the MLS Players Association in participating in the November 3 general election. In-person early voting has started in over 40 states. Make a plan to vote.