It took a little bit, but Weston McKennie is on the board for Juventus this season. Unfortunately for Juve and its U.S. men's national team midfielder, though, it didn't wind up being a celebratory occasion.
McKennie scored an equalizer for Juve in its midweek Serie A match vs. Sassuolo, pulling the Bianconeri level at 1–1 in the 76th minute. Juventus conceded in the fifth minute of stoppage time, though, suffering a 2–1 home defeat. It was McKennie who wound up being the last man back on a Sassuolo counterattack at the death, and he was beaten over the top with a ball that found Maxime Lopez, and his recovery run didn't arrive in time to prevent the game-deciding goal.
It looked like it'd be a draw when McKennie, who scored five Serie A goals last season and six in all competitions, got on the end of Paulo Dybala's free kick and headed it home from the center of the box.
While manager Max Allegri was elated after the goal, it was not enough to make him fully satisfied. Prior to the game he said that it was effectively a must-win match for a Juventus side sitting in sixth in the table to start the day, 13 points off the pace set by AC Milan. That deficit remains though 10 matches for both clubs.
"The boys know that we have to win," Allegri said. "The points that we lost at the beginning of the season don't allow us to have large margins of error."
That margin for error has shrunk even more with Lopez's winner.
The goal is at the very least something to savor for McKennie, who has endured an uneven season for his club and overcame being banished from the USMNT during World Cup qualifying last month for breaking team protocol only to return for the October international window.
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