Five Things to Know About U-17 MNT Striker Tim Weah
Get to know more about the U-17 MNT striker, whose father is a former FIFA Player of the Year
U.S. U-17 MNT forward Tim Weah has a famous name, but made waves for himself by becoming the first U.S. player to score a hat trick during the Knockout Round of a FIFA World Cup during the side's 5-0 Round of 16 victory against Paraguay on Oct. 16 in New Dehli, India.
Here are five things you should know about the U-17 MNT and Paris Saint-Germain striker:
A traveling man
Tim Weah (Way-Uh) was born on Feb. 22, 2000 in Brooklyn, New York, where he lived until he was four in the town of Valley Stream. His next four years were spent in Pembroke Pines, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the family stayed for a short while before moving back to New York, this time to Queens. In August of 2014, Tim left the family nest for France, where he joined the Academy of famed French club Paris Saint-Germain.
In addition to his worldly travels, Tim is fluent in French and English, and understands Italian and Dutch as well.
The son of George Weah
If the last name looked familiar, that’s because it is. Tim’s father George was the best soccer player in the world in 1995, winning the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year while with AC Milan, although he spent the first half of the year with Paris Saint-Germain. In 1996, Weah finished second to Brazilian footballer Ronaldo, keeping him from earning back-to-back honors. George’s sweep of the awards in 1995 made him the first African player to win both awards. In 1996, he was named the African Player of the Century and was given FIFA’s Fair Play Award. Despite his success on the field, George was never able to qualify for a World Cup with his country, Liberia.
Following his playing career, Weah became politically active in his home nation, running for president in 2005. Though he lost that bid, Weah was elected to the Liberian Senate in 2015 and is in the midst of a second campaign for the nation's highest office, in which he now faces a run-off election on Nov. 7
The musical artist
Aside from soccer, Tim’s biggest passion is music, specifically writing lyrics. In his apartment, Weah has his own microphone set up, where he crafts beats, jots down lyrics and records it all on his computer. Weah is an aspiring Trap Soul artist, which requires a combination of singing and rap. Since he started getting serious at the beginning of 2017, Weah has recorded six songs. His end goal is to one day produce his own music and open studios in Liberia and New York.
How he got to Paris Saint-Germain
From the time he could walk (and kick a soccer ball), Weah was first exposed to the sport at Rosedale Soccer Club in Queens a small club and facility owned by his uncle, Michael Duncan. When his family moved to Florida, Tim played recreational soccer in Pembroke Pines before his parents found the right challenge for him at West Pines United F.C. At a young age, Weah played at West Pines, where he met and played several 3v3 tournaments with current U-17 CONCACAF Championship teammate, George Acosta.
When he was nine, the family moved back to New York where Weah played on an official Rosedale team. Upon turning 10, Weah switched to U.S. Soccer Development Academy club BW Gottschee, where he played for three seasons. During the 2013-2014 season, Weah represented for the New York Red Bulls’ U-13/14 Development Academy team, with his teammates including U-20 MNT and current Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams and Leicester City’s Kyle Gruno.
Weah went on trial with a number of teams in late 2015. While on trial with a European club that scheduled a friendly scrimmage against Paris Saint-Germain, he performed so well that PSG offered him a contract. Since then, Weah has worked his way up from the Parisian club’s U-15s to its U-19 side before signing a professional contract in June 2017.
With the U-17 MNT
Tim Weah has fit in nicely with the U-17 MNT, helping the side with the 2016 Nike International Friendlies before it finishes as runners up at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Weah scored two goals for the U.S. in the tournament, which also served as qualifying for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
During the World Cup, the PSG attacker appeared in all three group games as the United States finished third in Group A. He then contributed in a big way, recording a hat trick in the USA's dominant 5-0 Round of 16 victory against Paraguay on Oct. 16. Weah's hat trick was the third by a U.S. player at the FIFA U-17 World Cup (Judah Cooks in 1993, Freddy Adu in 2003), but first achieved during the Knockout Stage of the tournament. It also propelled the USA to its first Quarterfinal appearance since 2005.