Second son of Liberian George Weah, the only African footballer to win the Ballon d’Or and which also carries four years as president of his country, Timothy Weah He even has French nationality, but he chose to represent the United States world-wide in sport. He was born there 22 years ago, in New York, where this Monday the first goal of the North American team was shouted in the Qatar World Cup 2022. Tim did it, in the 1-1 against Wales.
Raised between Brooklyn, Fort Lauderdale and Queen’s, Weah Junior received training focused on soccer and far from Africa. What’s more, he grew up in the antipodes of the alarming problems of Liberia, the country founded by blacks freed from slavery in … the United States. He inherited the talent and scoring nose of the Black Panther who had his most brilliant stage in Milan, where he played five seasons and completed the first of them by being considered the best of 1995.
Tim is a New Yorker because his parents met in that American city when George visited the bank branch where Clar Marie Duncan worked, who would be his future second wife, who had emigrated from Jamaica as a young man. The current number 21 of the selected team acquired a large part of his football knowledge at the New York Red Bulls academy before joining, at 17, the youth ranks of Paris Saint Germain, the club that put Weah senior in the Italian crosshairs.
While George, in full office as a senator, was running for president, Tim was in PSG’s B teamto then move – after a brief loan to Celtic, from Scotland – to Lille, with which he reached the French league title in 2021. From what he generated there, he earned his place in the national team and broke into as one of the young stars of the restructuring of the national team.
This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. commented the young striker in March 2018 after the 1-0 win against Paraguay in Cary, North Carolina, where he played the last five minutes coming on to replace Marky Delgado. That day, Timothy became the first soccer player born after January 1, 2000 to play for the Stars and Stripes team in his shirt.
What did the young winger say after the 1-1 draw between the United States and Wales, and his goal? Tim Weah expressed his happiness: “It’s a great feeling. I think he (George, his father) is living this moment through me, I am very happy to score this goal for them (his family). And I’m very happy to help the team in any way.” And he confirmed that his father witnessed this debut in Qatar in the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium, as president of Liberia.
Tim was earlier than George to reach the elite. George had to wait until he was 21 to leave Liberia and he was never able to reach a World Cup, although in his last stage on the courts he prioritized his participation in the representative of his land more than in his clubs. His son is already a World Cup player and the author of the only American goal in the first tie recorded in Qatar.
“I couldn’t look at my phone yet, but I know that my father was here along with my mother and uncle. I’ll talk to him later,” Tim Weah said, later admitting: “I was really happy about the goal, but if we’d gotten the win it would have been so much sweeter.” The United States were a clear dominator in a first half in which they could have achieved a decisive distance, but Wales reacted in the second half, until reaching the tie, which Weah attributed in part to the fatigue of his team.
“I think we slowed down a bit, the fatigue made it much more difficult for us. But that’s football. As a team, we learn from our mistakes and we have to bounce back. Ours is a young team. We have to go step by step, match by match”. The next exam, for Group B, promises to be more demanding: it will be on Friday, against England, which has just crushed Iran 6-2.
With Tim’s scoring debut at the top football event, for many he is no longer the son of the legend who left a mark on that sport and seeks to leave his mark on politics in his country as well. Weah junior is the new face of the family goal and the team that began its eleventh World Cup experience.