American teenagers Weston McKennie
, 18, and Haji Wright
, 19, have been promoted to Schalke 04's first team by Coach Markus Weinzierl
and will join the team for the 2016-17 season
finale at Ingolstadt.
The move comes two days after the end of the U-19 campaign for McKennie, Wright and fellow American Nick Taitague
. Schalke 04 lost to Bayern Munich in a
shootout after their semifinal series ended 5-5. McKennie and Wright have previously trained with Schalke 04 during international breaks.
McKennie joined Schalke last summer from FC
Dallas, where he was the star of its highly regarded U-18 academy team. Wright has been at Schalke 04 for several seasons but only signed after he turned 18. He had 12 goals in 26 games for the U-19s
in 2016-17. McKennie, a defensive midfielder, scored four goals in 18 games. Taitague joined Schalke when he turned 18 in February and made eight appearances.
U.S U-20 coach Tab
said he wanted to consider McKennie and Taitague for his U-20 World Cup roster but got no cooperation from Schalke 04, which said it was ready to release them after the end of the U-19
season. By then, the USA had already left for South Korea, where it opens against Ecuador on Monday.
A third player, German Luke Hemmerich
, earned a promotion to the first team
from the U-19s.