Tim Weah is one of the most exciting players – not young players, not teenagers, just players, period – in the United States men’s national team’s pool. His run at Paris Saint-Germain’s first team in 2018-19, therefore, is the subject of giddy interest from American fans everywhere. And the 18-year-old sprinted off to a fantastic start Saturday in the French super cup.
After preseason playing time and attacking contributions in friendlies, Weah started and scored in PSG’s 4-0 thrashing of Monaco in China:
It was Weah’s first professional goal in a competitive match. Teenage left back Stanley N’Soki did much of the work on the left, beating Andrea Raggi to the endline and driving toward the near post. But Weah converted expertly.
His stealthy movement was also impressive. Rather than get sucked toward the six-yard box, he checked his run at the penalty spot. N’Soki’s pull-back found him, and he kept his left-footed finish low to beat Monaco keeper Diego Benaglio.
The super cup – Trophee des Champions – isn’t a league match; but it’s the equivalent of the Community Shield in England or the Supercopa in Spain. It’s not at the top of priority lists. But teams want to win it. PSG is no exception.
Will Weah play this season for PSG?
The exception, of course, is that Weah is only starting because PSG’s many World Cup stars are still returning from their delayed vacations. Neymar only recently rejoined the squad, and played 15 minutes off the bench. Kylian Mbappe is still on break. Edinson Cavani wasn’t available.
With everybody healthy and up to full speed, Weah is probably seventh or eight on PSG’s attacking depth chart. In addition to the first-choice three, he’s presumably behind Angel Di Maria, Goncalo Guedes and Julian Draxler – for now.
But Guedes, who spent last season on loan at Valencia, might not be at PSG come September. Weah’s preseason performances might make the club a bit more inclined to part with Di Maria or Draxler if head-turning bids come in for either of them (or Guedes).
Weah could ultimately opt to go out on loan – perhaps in January if playing time dries up during the fall. He is getting to the age where regular competitive matches are a must for development. And there’s every chance playing time does dry up, with the most expensive attacking line in the world soon returning to the fold.
Nonetheless, an 18-year-old American started at striker for the best team in France in a competitive match. And he scored. That’s pretty darn impressive, and pretty darn cool.
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