"It was an easy decision for me," McKennie told Schalke 04's website. "I love the club and everything here: my teammates, the head coach and the fans. I'd love to stay here forever."
Winning Tedesco's confidence. It was unclear whether he'd figure in the plans of new coach Domenico Tedesco -- fellow American teenager Haji Wright was loaned to second division Sandhausen -- but McKennie has seen playing time as a central midfielder in four of Schalke's first six games.
As a testament to Tedesco's confidence in McKennie, the Texan has started in a Schalke midfield, where his competition is Germans Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer and French-born Algerian international Nabil Bentaleb, all only 22.
Schalke 04 has lost both games McKennie has started -- 3-0 to Bayern Munich and 2-0 to Hoffenheim -- dropping to seventh place in the Bundesliga standings after six games, but he received favorable reviews, suggesting that he will remain in the mix.
Schalke 04 is one of the giants of German soccer, averaging more than 60,000 fans at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen. McKennie puts two American teenagers on the two soccer institutions of the Ruhr Valley. Christian Pulisic plays for Schalke 04 archrival Borussia Dortmund.
Schalke 04 sports director Christian Heidel: "Weston has shown in the past few months that he is more than capable of contributing significantly to the future of Schalke. Thanks to his talent and his willingness to learn, Weston has made the rise from the U-19s to the Bundesliga and it's been a success from the get go. We're very happy that Weston sees his long-term future to be at FC Schalke 04."