By Mark Thompson, Football Whispers
It takes a lot to be considered a bright, young attacking prospect in the same Paris Saint-Germain team as Kylian Mbappé, but Timothy Weah manages it.
After performing well over the summer - directly involved in three of PSG’s five goals during the International Champions Cup - he hit the ground running in the 2018/19 season, scoring a goal in each of his first two games.
Weah’s father, George - Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year winner and current president of Liberia - also played for PSG, and some might have felt the pressure of this, but not Weah Jr.
"My surname is on my back, so I don't see it when I play – that is for the fans only," he said during the International Champions Cup. "Because of that, there is no pressure for me. I just focus and concern myself with playing as I can.”
It’s a bright time for soccer in the United States. The women’s national team are the current world champions and the men’s side have two world stars emerging in Weah and Christian Pulisic. The latter might have made his name in the past few seasons for Borussia Dortmund, but this summer has announced the former to the world.
Who is Timothy Weah?
Born in New York City a little less than two months into the 21st-century, there was always going to be comparisons drawn between Timothy and his father.
"I have done a lot to get here, I have faced a lot of people who said that I would always be in my father's shadow,” Timothy said earlier this year. “I just take that and I use that as a boost, because, as much as I love my father, I am trying to make a name for myself."
"Of course I watch videos of my father's goals from time to time,” he added while in Singapore for the International Champions Cup. “I also receive a lot of advice from him, but what you see on the pitch is the result of my own hard work."
After growing up in NYC and spending the early years of his soccer education in the United States, he moved from the New York Red Bulls academy to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014. A couple of years later he marked his first start for Les Parisiens’ youth team with a bang, scoring a hat-trick against Ludogorets in the UEFA Youth League.
And this year he has made his first senior appearances for both PSG and the United States Men’s National Team.
Weah’s 2018 so far
It’s Weah’s dream to be the best talent that the United States has ever produced, and his performances during this year suggest he certainly has the potential to vye for that title.
He made his first appearances for PSG towards the end of the 2017/18 season before scoring on his international debut for the United States in May, as the USMNT beat Paraguay.
The New York City native took this form into the International Champions Cup, scoring against FC Bayern, winning a penalty against Arsenal and providing an assist against Atlético de Madrid; a direct involvement in three of PSG’s five goals during the tournament.
Weah was a consistent threat as well, averaging an impressive 3.8 shots per 90 minutes across his three appearances. The performances didn’t go unnoticed by new PSG boss Thomas Tuchel and Weah featured in the Trophée des Champions against AS Monaco in China.
True to form he made an impact, scoring the third goal in a 4-0 win for the reigning Ligue 1 champions, before bagging the third goal again in PSG’s 3-0 win over Caen in their opening league match.
What has been said about Weah?
"This is a big opportunity for Timothy and he needs to seize his chance," Tuchel said prior to the first match in Singapore against Arsenal. It’s clear that the German appreciates Weah’s talents.
"He is very fast, has great endurance, does not need long to recover and still remains one of the fastest [players in PSG's squad].
"The build-up to Timothy's goal against Bayern was remarkable. Now he must use this quality not just for himself, but also for the team in order to become a dangerous, confident and professional player: these are the next steps for Timothy to take.
"He is intelligent and wants to learn, so Timothy holds all of the cards here."
And his performances during the summer suggested Weah has played his cards just right.