“It’s upsetting”: Weston McKennie controversy clouds USMNT before WCQ vs. Honduras


That would appear to conflict with Berhalter’s version of events.

“The morale is great, I mean, I think people make mistakes,” said the coach. “Weston apologized to the group, apologized to me, and things happen. I guess the most important message that we’re getting through, or that we’re trying to get through, is that we’re here in camp for seven days. And the intensity is incredible, it’s three finals in seven days, and we need everyone’s single-minded focus on what we’re trying to accomplish. And that’s the most important thing.

“By and large the group is there, the group is focused on it. And sometimes when people aren’t, then you have to have a talk with them and you have to sometimes enforce standards. So that’s all part of it,” he added. “Listen, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened in a team. It’s not going to be the last time. It is upsetting to me as a coach, it’s upsetting to Weston, it’s upsetting to players and staff. But it is what it is and we’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”

Berhalter parried further questions about the McKennie situation, though he did clarify that the FC Dallas academy product has not been exiled for good and will return when he’s in form and fit for selection.

“It’s an open-door policy. There’s very rarely a situation where a player would never be allowed back into the national team camp. That’s not how we operate,” said Berhalter. “If you see the track record, it’s guys in and out based on performance, based on how they’re doing. Me and Weston had long conversations, he’s a guy that I care for deeply. He’s a big part of the team, and I’m sure when he’s performing well, he’ll be back in the team.

“This is a team environment. Any conversations will remain between the team and I, and the team and the staff, and the team and Weston, and that’s how we’ll leave it. Violating policy, that’s as far as I’ll go with that.”