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USMNT star Weston McKennie officially joins Premier League's Leeds United
United States

USMNT star Weston McKennie officially joins Premier League's Leeds United

Updated Jan. 30, 2023 1:37 p.m. ET

Weston McKennie has officially agreed to join to Leeds United of the English Premier League. McKennie and his agency confirmed the move Monday on Instagram and the USMNT midfielder was seen arriving at Leeds to officially sign his contract. 

Leeds has been among several teams in talks with Juventus over a transfer of the 24-year-old, a starter and key player on the USMNT squad that reached the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup.

The deal will initially be a loan through the end of the 2022-23 club season, with Leeds having the option to purchase McKennie's contract permanently for 33 million euros ($36 million) in the summer, per soccer journalist Fabrizio Romano.

McKennie joins a Leeds roster that already has a strong USMNT influence, with fellow Stars And Stripes stars Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson being key players on the squad. The club's coach, Jessie Marsch, is a Wisconsin native who played for the USMNT himself from 2000 to 2007. American ownership group 49ers Enterprises — which owns the NFL's San Francisco 49ers — is also expected to take over the club by 2024.

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As far as club size and stature goes, Leeds is technically a step down for McKennie, but the overall competition in the Premier League would be better for McKennie's development, especially if he is a regular first-team player like he is at Juventus. It is also worth noting that Juventus is in a state of peril after being penalized 15 points by the Italian soccer federation for its transfer dealings. Before the penalty, Juventus was third in Serie A; they're now in the bottom half of the league.

The January transfer window closes at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 31. McKennie joins 18-year-old Portugese defender Diogo Montiero, previously of Swiss club Servette, as another Leeds United transfer addition while the club looks to add more cushion from the relegation zone in the Premier League table. Leeds United currently sits at 15th in the Premier League table at 18 points, just one point more than relegation-eligible Bournemouth.

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