As a product of global soccer royalty, Tim Weah is breaking new ground and is writing his own story in the USMNT book of legends in this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Tim Weah‘s path to being a lock-starter for Gregg Berhalter’s squad has always come against the backdrop of the career of his father, legendary player and former Ballon d’Or winner (and current Liberian presiden) George Weah.
While US fans have had the pleasure of seeing the 22 year-old Weah gradually prove his own talent in over the team’s successful grasping of the first-ever CONCACAF Nations League trophy and subsequent qualifying campaign for the current World Cup, his success in the three group games in Qatar have announced his talent on the world’s stage.
The Lille attacker scored the USMNT’s lone goal in their opening draw against Wales, and has started all three group-stage games for the team, with a likely repeat in the XI on Saturday against the Dutch.
In their critical win over Iran on Tuesday, he did not directly contribute to the goal that ultimately made the difference, but he did keep the Iranian defenders under pressure, and will certainly play a major role in the tactical approach by head coach Gregg Berhalter against the Dutch on Saturday.
“It was a night of dreams,” Weah expressed with delight following the successful result, adding, “We worked so hard as a group to be in these types of positions.”
He recognized the quality of Tuesday’s competition but also was quick to credit his teammates, with whom he fought to take the important result.
“It was a hard game. I think in the first half we dominated, but in the second half Iran came back with force. Defensively we had to be on it, but we got the result.”
“Iran played a beautiful game,” he momentarily reflected, before turning back to his own teammates. “Thanks to Christian [Pulisic], he put it away and got hurt in the process, but we love him and we thank him. But we’re through, and it’s a great feeling.”
For Weah, whose father never had the opportunity to compete in the World Cup despite his remarkable honors on both the club and individual level, this tournament is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream to play against the world’s best.
“I’ve been talking to my parents my whole life about how I’ve dreamed about playing in a World Cup in front of them,” he reflected. “Qualifying for the Round of 16 is something out of my dreams. It’s a great feeling.”
For Weah, success in this tournament is deeply connected to the bonds that he’s formed with his fellow American teammates and the chance to prove to the world that the team is not just a regional power in CONCACAF, but a force that can threaten the global order.
“I always say that it’s us against the world,” he stated. “Nobody believed that the US cold play good football and we’re just here trying to show the world.”
However, he is quick to point out the more personal sources of motivation, the faces in the stands that provide the momentary bursts of energy to fight for the victory.
“There’s nothing better than to do it with the people who you love. Our families are in the stands and we do it for them. I’m just really happy that we’re through to the next round.”
Turning towards the eighth-ranked Dutch team, who the US is set to face on Saturday afternoon in the Round of 16, Weah is focused on the bonds formed with his fellow teammates as the strength that will give them the chance for a victory.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” he admitted. “We have to come out with all of our power and fight until the end.”
“The team is like a family and we want to win,” he concluded.
Weah and the rest of his UMSNT teammates will try to turn the Oranje into Oranje-juice beginning at 10am Eastern time, 4pm Central European time on Saturday in the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.