The U.S. men’s national team will head in their World Cup qualifier against Canada without Tim Weah as his vaccination status does not meet the country’s entry requirements, head coach Gregg Berhalter said on Saturday.
At a press conference ahead of Sunday’s game, Berhalter said the winger had received the first dose of the vaccine before getting infected with COVID-19. This prevented him from getting the second dose which would have met Canada’s vaccination requirements.
The coach emphasized that Weah is considered vaccinated in France, which allowed him to return stateside. He will return to the squad for Wednesday’s game against Honduras in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“Due to the time of when he got COVID he wasn’t able to get that second shot yet,” said Berhalter. However, in France, he is listed as fully vaccinated because in France, the one shot plus COVID means you’re vaccinated and you’re okay. As a technicality, it wasn’t acceptable in Canada. This is something we can’t control, the nuances of COVID protocol, and we just have to deal with it.”
Under Canada’s guidelines, to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler, an individual must have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of two accepted vaccines, or at least one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The second dose must have been received at least 15 days before an individual enters Canada. Travelers must also have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
With Weah ruled out of the clash with United States’ northern rival, Brenden Aaronson will most likely start in his place.