Goretzka and McKennie were at the club together for a brief time together, but the German made a very prominent impression on the American.
Now, Germany is in the United States for a friendly and McKennie plans on breaking out some of the German that he learned while playing for Schalke — particularly a few “bad words” to greet his old mate.
“It’s definitely a good opportunity for us to be able to play against guys that, at the club level, we’ve played against and played with. Leon Goretzka, for instance, was like a big brother to me when I was coming through the ranks at Schalke, so it’s going to be nice to be able to see him and play against him as well and maybe be able to say some bad words to him in German, just to refresh my memory of how it used to be,” McKennie said.
While McKennie’s role for the USMNT seems solidified, Goretzka’s under new Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann is less certain. While there is some speculation that Goretzka and his Bayern Munich teammate Joshua Kimmich could start together, it is likely that Goretzka could be in a role off of the bench with FC Barcelona’s İlkay Gündoğan getting the starting nod.