WORLD CUP TRAINING CAMP PRESS CONFERENCE: Weston McKennie & Sergiño Dest | Nov. 19, 2022

By | November 20, 2022

Midfielder Weston McKennie and Defender Sergiño Dest spoke to media as the USMNT continues its World Cup preparation in Doha, Qatar.

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Haze for Westin Um can you just explain a little bit About how this week is gone in terms of Trying to get back up to 100 and sort of Where you are in that right now Uh yeah that's good okay uh no the week Has gone good Um I came in Um obviously in my personal Um Position or how I am or how I'm doing in Terms of recovery I came in Um good I came in uh Um you know a pace that was controlled At by Juventus and by the national team They were both working together to make Sure that I'm 100 fit here so I came in Did a couple days of of just you know Maintaining and and you know keeping it Under control and uh yeah we played the Friendly the other day and and I felt Good felt ready to go and and yeah That's where I'm at That would be the aforementioned Training exercise Over here to your left Doug McIntyre Weston we all know how important it is To you know how much better your chances Are of advancing if you win the first Game how much are you guys thinking About that I mean you know I know you're Not looking past whales but just the Importance of getting three points and What that could mean for you guys the

Rest of the tournament thank you No um you know we we definitely as a Team and as a group uh we always want to Just focus game by game so of course Wales being the first one there's no way That we're gonna look past them or or You know devalue them or anything Because we know that they're a strong Team we know that it's going to be a Hard game but uh we definitely want to Win the first game we want to come out With three points and you know just Three year four years of just working up To this moment I think all the guys are Ready to go and and the staff is ready To go and and I've put a game plan Together so hopefully we execute that And and get the three points on Monday We'll go to Paul scenario just your left Oh one behind Thank you um this is for sir genio Similar to the question to Weston just Kind of how is this week gone for you How do you feel Fitness wise and form Wise uh going into the opener Thank you thank you Um I'm feeling personally I'm feeling Good you know Um of course Um after the last game I had a little Bit of You know um fatiq and right now it's Going well I'm ready to play and now you know as as

Um with the team you know like we're Really hyped for the game we are really Concentrated and uh yeah the gaming has Built is really important so Yeah we're gonna give everything out There on the pitch Behind you Paul You can just go back to Martin great Thank you Hi there Weston um obviously it's a Little bit unusual for a World Cup team Not to have named its Captain officially By this point but do you like the fact That the coach has kind of involved you Guys in the process and entrusted you to Have a role in making that decision Uh yeah definitely I think you know this Team we're so Such a group such a good chemistry we All I think we've talked about it before Every single player on this team is has A responsibility every player in this Team can hold each other accountable There's not one person that you know you Think about whenever you uh have a Question or that you know like okay Maybe should I do this or should I do That like you can go to anyone on this Team so in our minds everyone can be a Leader at any given point and when They're called upon so obviously None of us knowing who the captain is is Is is okay with us like we're not Someone or we're not a group of guys

That is like oh I want to be captain Oh I want to be Captain like it's like Whoever has it has it uh the mission is Still the same the goal is still the Same and we just need all 26 players no Matter their role to be on the same page And have the same uh goal at the end of The day which is to to compete and and Win games Stephen Collins to your left Wes um I Was wondering if you could uh if you Could comment on the the number of African-American players on this team Um the numbers have been growing over The years Um what that means for the program in General Um and for the reaching a wider audience A wider player pool to have to have Those kinds of numbers here now I don't really feel comfortable Answering that no I'm just kidding I'm Kidding okay light in the mood a little Bit uh Um no I mean I think it's amazing you Know um Uh it's not a secret that in America you Know African-Americans lean towards uh Basketball lean towards American Football lean towards baseball lean Towards other sports Um and just you know As a kid and growing up with other kids In in my neighborhood

Um you rarely saw any African-American You know kids uh playing soccer Um and so now just to be able to you Know do what we love and and at the same Time have an impact uh on the game in America for for African Americans Um it's amazing because now they can Look at it and say you know what that Can be me also like I don't just have to You know make it in basketball or have To make it in American football or make It in these other sports like there's Also another way out Um of any situation that people may be In or or just there's another sport that We can fall in love with and I think That's uh it's been amazing that's been Something that you know us on the team Uh the African-Americans on the team We've we've you know definitely been Blessed to be able to to show to the World and show to the people uh back Home in the states We should also point out there's a Number there's diversity in the staff as Well in the Co in the medical staff and In the performance staff African-American indian-american Asian American and others We'll go here to the left job Michael For Western looking back at the last Four years there have been a lot of Matches where you guys have come out of It

Proud of the way you played regardless Of the result and also some matches Where you were upset with the way you Played regardless of the result Can you looking back figure out if there Are anything common in the days that you Played well and didn't play well Um I think the you know The the days that we played well Um is like I said in my previous answer Was when all 26 players all the players Were on the same page were on the same Goal knew what their roles were knew What we were doing Um also a big thing is being able to Adapt to the way other teams play and The games that we have done that and Known that you know this is going to be A dog fight and you know they're Vulnerable in this way and they're Vulnerable in that way has been the the Times that we've performed the best and When everyone's on all cylinders and Fighting for each other and and you know You see the little fights on the field When everyone's just fired up and ready To go those are the times that I think You know we've played at our best is Whenever we really embody our our mottos The times that we have maybe not Performed our best I won't say that we Weren't prepared for it Um every athlete and every single sport Has enough day and the thing about

Soccer is such a team sport that even if One player has an off day can throw off Everything And all of us have had an off day at Some point you know obviously we know When we come to the national team Everyone wants us to be 100 everyone Wants us to be focused and everything Which we are but at the same time we're Humans and then we can have faults as Well so I think those are the times Whenever we haven't you know gotten the Results maybe we want and you know Haven't been at our full potential Sam is right in the middle there second Row Uh this one's for Weston as well um Wales has a pretty clear way of playing You've played with one of their main Guys Aaron Ramsey Yuva what do you Expect from them and from him in terms Of their strengths and ways that they'll Challenge you guys when they look to get Forward Um you know Wales is a team we've played Before obviously we we didn't play them I think when they had their full roster Um but as much as much as I can say you Know I don't really watch uh soccer so I Can't really speak so much about the Whole team I know they have some very Talented players Um like you say Aaron Ramsey the guy That you know even though he's been

Battling injuries quite often he's Someone that you know he's one of those Players that can be a difference in a Game he's one of those players that you Know he may uh play you know not so good The whole game but he can spark Something like in a second so we Definitely know the style that they play You know five in the back we know that We're we're preparing for that we've Seen video we've been training it and Training and so yeah I think I think We're pretty prepared for them I think We know that they're going to be uh Hungry just like we are but other than The day it comes down to to inches and Comes down to the to the fight in the in The group all together and for me I Think we're uh we're ready for it So Gino I had another question for you As well Um I don't think that you've gotten a Chance to respond to some public Criticism you got from Rafael vandervart Back in the Netherlands who uh spoke Recently about how you maybe think You're a little bit better than you are And you should know your limits and These sorts of things and I just wonder If you had taken note of that if that's Maybe fuel for you at this tournament And kind of how that fits into your Bigger approach to maybe grabbing the Spotlight the best that you can this

Month Um I'm just going to be honest Um never following these things you know I'm just focusing on myself Um I know my abilities you know of course I Know I need to improve I need to learn Some more things and my other situation That I had to adapt as well But Um like whenever somebody is talking About me like I'm not getting it you Know so I don't get the information so I Actually don't I don't know what he said But I'm just focusing on you know try to Play my game and try to improve every Day so That's it