Paris Saint Germain forward Tim Weah had a choice between playing for the USA, Liberia, Jamaica, or France before making his debut for the USA. He had already made 14 appearances for the USA under-17 side, scoring six times.
The attacker wrote his name into the history books when he replaced Marky Delgado five minutes before the end of the match against Paraguay at Sahlen’s Stadium in North Carolina. He wasn’t able to score, but the USA won the game thanks to Bobby Wood’s penalty on the stroke of halftime.
Not everyone is happy that Weah chose to play for the USA instead of Liberia. Patrick Swen, an intellectual forum member in Liberia’s capital Monrovia, said, “Tim’s action choosing [the] USA over his father country is not the best thing for him.”
It has been a memorable March for Weah because he also made his PSG debut in a 2-0 victory away to Troyes. PSG is currently the runaway leader of the French Ligue 1, holding a 17-point advantage over nearest rivals Monaco.
Last year, the young striker scored a hat-trick for the USA at the under-17 World Cup against Paraguay. Unfortunately for Weah, he will not get a chance to appear at the 2018 World Cup in Russia because the USA lost its final qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago.
Despite the USA’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, Weah and a number of other young players will want to make their mark on the national team. The USA faces Bolivia in a friendly match on May 29 at the Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennslyvania.
The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup will see the USA take on other teams in the region such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama. Weah could be a central part of the team if his form and fitness are not disrupted. The Gold Cup will be a chance for USMNT to restore some pride after slipping to 25 in the FIFA world rankings.
According to ESPN, the youngster does not mind being compared to his dad George, who became FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995. In fact, he relishes the comparison.
“I use it as an advantage because my dad did a lot of great things in his time playing. I just use it as motivation, and it’s like a boost that helps me when I play. From watching all his games, learning from him first-hand, I try to apply everything to my game. I try to be a little bit like him, but more of myself added to it. It was just weird when I was younger, but then I see how big of a star he was, and the impact he made on the football field.”
Weah is not the first son to play for a different international team than his dad (George Weah played for Liberia 60 times and scored 22 goals). Alen Halilović has played for Croatia, while his dad Sejad appeared several times for Bosnia.