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'I would never have believed it' - USMNT winger Alex Zendejas on Weston McKennie's High School Musical song selection and a shirtless post-Nations League title meal

Zendejas McKennie USMNT celebrate Nations LeagueGetty

WHAT HAPPENED? The U.S. recently won the Nations League trophy, topping Canada 3-0 in the final after a 3-0 win over Mexico days earlier. The locker room celebrations were shown extensively on Instagram Live, with one moment, in particular, catching the eye.

McKennie was seen leading a singalong to Breaking Free from the Disney Channel movie High School Musical, and Zendejas, who reflected on the celebrations as a whole ahead of the upcoming Gold Cup, confirmed that it was, in fact, McKennie that chose the song.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "The most strange [moment] would be when Weston put High School Musical on in the locker room," Zendejas said. "I would never think we'd do that!"

He continued: "The experience was unreal. Obviously, I've known those guys since I was 15, so just being with them and enjoying the moment with them was a great experience. It's not every day you get to lift a trophy, so I really took that in, and that's just extra motivation to do the same with this tournament."

Head coach B.J. Callaghan, meanwhile, revealed how he saw Zendejas really savor the moment at a post-win meal: "After the team got back to the hotel, we're in the team meal room and Alex is a guy who doesn't wear a shirt all that often. He's one of the guys with no shirt on in the meal room but what he does have on his neck still? The Nations League medal. You can tell how important that moment was for him and it was something that I was glad that he was able to experience with the team. Hopefully, we continue to have great success here with the Gold Cup and he can keep his shirt off one more time."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zendejas is expected to be a key player for the U.S. at the Gold Cup and is one of five holdovers from the Nations League squad. The USMNT is looking to make it a second consecutive cycle with a summer double, having won the Nations League and Gold Cup back in 2021.

"Hopefully, I can take a leadership role," Zendejas said. "I feel like B.J. has given me the confidence to do so, so I try to take what I got from the guys in Nations League camp and just bring it to the Gold Cup."


Weston McKennie USMNT Iran 2022 World CupGetty ImagesUSMNT Nations League trophy lfitGettyAlejandro Zendejas Estados Unidos 2023

WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? The USMNT will open up their Gold Cup defense on Saturday in Chicago when they face their toughest group stage opponent, Jamaica.