Why is Mckenzie Milton not playing?
He suffered a setback in July 2019 when he got an infection, which required another surgery and prolonged his recovery an additional six months. Milton was finally able to return to play in October 2020; he was listed on UCF's roster, but did not play a game. Sporting NewsWhat happened to McKenzie Milton? Quarterback returns to football after career-threatening knee injury
U.S. men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter explained the decision to send Weston McKennie home ahead of the group's trip to Honduras while clarifying that the midfielder does have a future with the program despite his recent incident.
McKennie was dismissed for a "violation of team policy" related to an incident involving Covid protocol, with ESPN reporting that McKennie spent a night outside of the USMNT's bubble before inviting a guest into the bubble on a separate occasion.
The Juventus midfielder missed the USMNT's 1-1 draw with Canada and will be out for Wednesday's visit to Honduras, but Berhalter says to expect McKennie back with the team at some point.
"I think when you talk about team policies and team rules and what we're trying to accomplish as a team," Berhalter told reporters, "the team absolutely comes first, and we made this decision not only for the short term but for the long-term health of the program.
"And it's not an easy decision. Trust me. Countless coaches are faced with decisions where they have to take talented players out of the lineup for some reason or other, but we did it for what we think is the good of the group and the team.
"It is what it is. We're obviously going to be missing Weston for Wednesday, but it doesn't rule him out for the future, but we know that we're without him on Wednesday."
When asked to expand on McKennie's future with the program, Berhalter continued: "If you've been watching the moves that we've been making, how we've been talking to people. it's an open-door policy.
"There will very rarely be a situation where a player would never be allowed back into national team camp. That's not how we operate. If you see the track record, it's that guys are in based on performance and based on how they're doing.
"Me and Weston had long conversations. He's a guy that I care for deeply. He's a big part of the team and I'm sure when he's performing well he'll be back on the team."
With McKennie out, the U.S. still has several midfield options to start the Honduras game.
Berhalter turned to Tyler Adams, Kellyn Acosta and Sebastian Lletget in the midfield against Canada, while Brenden Aaronson could start centrally after playing on the wing in that game.
Cristian Roldan is also in the U.S. squad while Jackson Yueill was added to the team in the wake of McKennie's departure.
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07 September, 2021 - 11:00pm
07 September, 2021 - 10:44am
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 01: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and team take the field for the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One against the Alabama Crimson Tide at AT&T Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The second AP Poll of the season is officially out, and it has the Irish ranked 8th in the country. This comes after Notre Dame football was ranked 9th in the initial preseason AP Poll, meaning they moved up one spot in the polls following a tight road win over Florida State.
This means that for all the talk that was going on about how Notre Dame football might be exposed against a down Seminoles team, it seems to have been overblown. At the very least, other teams got exposed worse than Notre Dame did.
That number 8 spot is about where Notre Dame should continue to sit, for the time being. This is a team with some major issues that it needs to work on, particularly on the offensive line and against the run on defense. Still, the Irish won, and you can hardly drop a team after a win.
That’s before you consider that Jack Coan looked great, the wide receivers were better than they’ve been in years, and Kyle Hamilton is still the best defensive back in America. So, no, this isn’t an elite team, but they are a great team that is right to have extremely high expectations after Week 1 for the rest of the year.
Other notable bits of movement for Notre Dame include North Carolina, who fell all the way to 24 after their abysmal start to the season at Virginia Tech. If the Tar Heels don’t turn things around, one of the biggest games on Notre Dame’s schedule is going to be a laugher.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin, who struggled on offense in a loss to Penn State, fell all the way to 18. In either case, both of those games won’t look as challenging as they did before the season. Two of Notre Dame’s future opponents did move up in the poll after big wins. USC and Cincinnati are now 14th and Cincinnati is ahead of Notre Dame at 7th.
That makes these the two premier games of this season, as of right now.
The question with the AP Poll is always going to be with how valuable it is as a tool in the modern game. After all, it’s not even the poll that is currently used to determine who goes to the College Football Playoff. This means that by the end of the season it’s almost irrelevant. However, it is worth pointing out that the ranked wins that come from being ranked in the AP Poll are used by the initial College Football Playoff rankings to determine a top-25.
It is not debatable the historic relevance of the AP Poll, which used to be the standard way to determine a national champion. If you’re looking into college football’s long history, for most of it the best way to understand the general thought about who was best at the time is through the lens of the AP Poll. That makes it a great tool that should never die.
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