Weah joins USMNT with new look, boosted confidence

first_imgTim Weah arrived at U.S. national team camp in New Jersey sporting a new look this week. Gone were the braids he wore the last time he was with the team, and that he’d had as recently as his last appearance for Paris Saint-Germain. Instead, he wore a very short haircut that made him look so different that one reporter on Monday began asking him questions about what it was like to be in camp with Tim Weah.The precocious young forward began to answer the question before stopping and saying, “I am Tim Weah.” “I was just sitting in the [barber’s] chair one day and I was like, ‘wow, I need a change,’ so I just cut it off,” Weah said. “And it’s getting hot.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Weah’s haircut isn’t the only thing different as he prepares for the USMNT’s upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Mexico. He has also arrived with an added level of confidence built through the playing time he has earned with PSG in the early part of the season.Even just a couple months ago, few would have envisioned Weah earning the minutes he has in the season’s early going. “As you saw against Bolivia (in May), coming in as a young 18-year-old playing against professionals and playing with professionals that I used to watch,” Weah said. “I came in with a little bit less confidence, and a little bit less swagger because I was kind of holding back. I wanted to play simple.”I’m more confident now,” Weah said. “I’m training every day with the best players so in this camp I really want to show the world and show our supporters what I can really do on the ball. Build plays, spark plays, create plays, score goals. That’s my main goal, racking up on stats. Once I get that no matter what age, 18, 19, 20, I’ll always have that confidence.”Weah is off to an encouraging start to the season at PSG, staying with the French champions despite rumors of potential loan moves. He revealed on Monday that a loan away from PSG was an option, but the 18-year-old made a tough decision that he stands behind.”I was supposed to go on loan earlier this season and I chose not to go,” Weah said. “I chose to stay and work on my game because I feel like under [PSG manager Thomas] Tuchel and the players that we have it’s going to be great for me. My game is going to develop so much and I’m going to mature and I feel like that was the best decision for me.”I don’t want to rush anything,” Weah said. “I’m only 18. But in the future we’ll see. Maybe a loan takes me. Maybe after this year I’ll be a little more comfortable playing professional soccer.”Weah also stayed to continue working with Tuchel, who has taken over at PSG and has already shown the same affinity for giving young players opportunities that he showed while at Borussia Dortmund.”Amazing. One of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with,” Weah said of Tuchel. “Tactically he’s amazing, technically he’s an amazing coach. Without his coaching staff I feel like he wouldn’t be the coach he is. He’s a great person. I love him so much. With the young guys he really shows us that he cares about us. With all the guys he shows us he’s a team guy and he loves his players like they’re his children.”He’s really there for us, and he pushes us to be the best we can be,” Weah said. “He gets angry at us sometimes but we all know it’s for the better. I can’t wait to get more games under Tuchel, and hopefully next season I’ll have a great spot and I’ll be in a good position to eventually take a path like Cavani.”Speaking of PSG, Weah will be standing across the field from one of his club teammates on Friday in Brazilian star Neymar, who will guide a strong Brazil team into Friday’s friendly.”He’s super talented. A great guy. Super confident when he’s on the pitch,” Weah said of Neymar. “You’ve just got to keep your eyes on him and just watch everything that he does because he’s one of the best players in the world and it’s super hard to play against him.”I feel like with the group of guys we have here, with Tyler Adams helping in with the defense from the midfield, and John Brooks, Matt Miazga, [Cameron Carter-Vickers] I feel like, as young guys we can really get the job done.”While some might question the value of friendlies, especially at a time when the team has yet to hire its full-time head coach, Weah makes it clear that the chance to play against high-profile opponents is invaluable for a young group of players who have already put together some encouraging results in 2018, including the 1-1 draw with France in June.”These games, they build confidence,” Weah said. “Playing against World Cup winners, we didn’t know they were going to win the World Cup, but we played our buts off like it was a final for us and we tied France 1-1. These games are completely important to this group because it’s something to build on, and it’s growth, and that’s what we need. We need to really jell together because we do have new guys coming in each camp. The squad is getting younger each camp.”Games like this, playing against Brazil, if we do get a result — and I really feel that we will — it’s going to be a huge confidence builder and it’s going to be great going to Nashville to play Mexico.”last_img read more

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