Timoth Weah Scores Hat-Trick For PSG In UEFA Youth League
Monrovia – Timothy Weah scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) beat Ludogorets at the Stadion Georgi Asparuhov in Sofia in the UEFA Youth League (for Under-19s) on September 28.
Timothy, who is the son of Montserrado County Senator George Weah, scored the second goal in the 29th minute from a Colin Dagba assist.
His brace, which was PSG’s fifth goal, came three minutes after the break from an Alec Georgen connection.
Timothy took home the match ball, which was his side’s seventh goal, from a Samuel Essende pass in the 85th minute.
His first goal was sandwiched by Essende’s first half brace as Christopher Nkunku also scored a brace.
PSG are second in Group A with four points, two points adrift of leaders Basel, who beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Meadow Park in London on September 28.
Judging from past videos, Timothy might be one of the few sons of legendary footballers who can match his dad’s achievements.
Jordi Cruyff, Alex Bruce, Tom Ince, Darren Ferguson, Nicky Summerbee, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stephen Clemence are few examples of professional footballers who never quite got out of their dad’s shadow and will Timothy flatter to deceive.
And while having a dad who an African, European and a world best in 1995 might be too much pressure for some kids, young Timothy doesn’t seem to be too bothered.
He scored five goals as PSG under-17 beat China’s Shanghai Greenland Shenhua 13-0 in the 2016 Al Kass International Cup on February 10 in Qatar.
His fifth, a deft back-heeled flick, was a strike even his dad, who is perhaps best remembered for a wonder goal for AC Milan against Verona in Serie A on September 8, 1996, would have been proud of.
Having impressed on trial, PSG awarded Timothy a youth contract on May 13 until 2018.
His dad represented PSG between 1992 and 1995, winning the Ballon d’Or for the latter year shortly after moving to Milan.
And Weah expressed his delight at seeing his son, an American-born French, moved to the Parc des Princes.
“I am very proud and very happy to see my son grow into this great club that is Paris Saint-Germain. I player here too of course, for me it is a great pride. I hope the club will continue to grow, to become one of the biggest teams in the world. I also played here, of course, and this gives me great pride,” Weah told the club’s official website.
Timothy has represented the United States of America (USA) at the under-15 and under-17 levels and was part of John Hackworth’s 20-man squad that won the under-15 2015 Tournament Delle Nazioni in Italy.
They first trained in Italy and played Group C games in Slovenia against Costa Rica, Slovenia and Croatia.
At 15, Timothy, a 55th minute substitute for Lucas Del Rosario, scored a 61st minute goal as USA beat Austria 3-2 in the grand-finale on May 1 in Italy.
They were leading 3-0 before Nicolas Meister scored in the 63rd and 76th minutes respectively, according to ussoccer.com.
Timothy replaced Lucas in the 58th minute in a goalless draw in the semi-final with Italy but USA won 5-4 on penalties with Timothy converting the last kick on April 29.
He started the 3-2 defeat to Slovenia in the group stage but was replaced by Zico Bailey in the 54th minute on April 27.
Timothy was an unused substitute when USA beat Croatia 6-2 with four goals for Ayo Akinola and a brace for Andrew Carleton on April 26.
In their first match, Timothy provided two assists to Lucas, who scored twice as USA beat Costa Rica 4-1 before he was replaced by Adrian Villegas in the 50th minute on April 25.
Weah kept a home in New York during his playing career and met Timothy’s mother, Clar, when he was opening an account at a New York Chase bank where she worked.
According to BigAppleSoccer.com’s Michael Lewis, Clar was Timothy’s first coach.
“She knows the game a lot because she watched my dad,” Timothy said.
In 2012, Timothy was selected to USA Club Soccer’s id2 program. Later that year, while playing for BW Gottschee, the Rosedale, New York resident made then coach Hugo Perez’s national under-14 squad and returned to the U-14 squad under coach Tony Lepore in 2013 and under current USA under-14 coach Brian Johnson in 2014, by which time Weah had moved to New York Red Bulls.
“Wherever we went, we went to malls and stuff and everyone would be like, ‘Oh, that’s George Weah.’ I would just laugh and say, ‘My dad was one of the greatest players and I want to follow in his footsteps.’
“But I also want to make a name for myself. I want to be Timothy Weah, be myself, play my game and still follow in his footsteps while I’m doing that,” Timothy told Lewis in a 2013 interview.
Interestingly, Weah revealed that he took Timothy for a trial at Chelsea – his former club – in 2013, when his son was just 13.
Judging by the fact he is now playing for PSG, someone at Stamford Bridge clearly decided the young man wasn’t good enough for The Blues.
About the Youth League (from Wikipedia)
The UEFA Youth League (originally titled as the UEFA under-19 Champions League) is a competition for all under age players registered to the 32 senior clubs that qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, plus 32 domestic youth champions.
The teams in the first tournament, 2013-14 season, played a group stage with the same composition and calendar as the 2013-14 UEFA Champions’ League group stage, and was held on a ‘trial basis’.
The eight group-winners and eight runners-up the from group stage then participated in a knockout phase.
Unlike the UEFA Champions League, the knockout phase had single-leg ties, with the semi-finals and final played at neutral venues.
British media commented that the competition was formed to “limit the growing influence of the NextGen Series”.
The NextGen Series was a European football club cup competition for under-19 footballers.
It was designed to provide players with the opportunity to match themselves against other elite European footballers of their age group in a competitive environment.
The competition was created by sports television producer Justin Andrews, Rangers manager Mark Warburton and Brentford owner Matthew Benham.
Plans to create a European competition for youth footballers had long been explored.
Ajax and Manchester City played a behind closed doors match in November 2010 as did Liverpool and Celtic. This was part of a trial scheme for the new competition.
On 16 August 2013, organizers confirmed that the NextGen Series had been suspended for the 2013–14 campaign because of funding issues and lacking of competitive space since the creation of UEFA Youth League.
In April 2014, Barcelona became the first champion, beating Benfica 3–0 in the final-four held in Nyon.
After a two-year trial period, the UEFA Youth League became a permanent UEFA competition starting from the 2015-16 season, with the tournament expanded from 32 to 64 teams to allow the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations according to their UEFA country coefficient to also participate.
The 32 UEFA Champions’ League group stage youth teams retain the group stage format, with the group winners advancing to the round of 16 and the runners-up advancing to the play-offs.
The 32 youth domestic champions play two rounds of two-legged ties, with the eight winners advancing to the play-offs, where they play a single match at home against the Champions League path runners-up.
The round of 16 onwards retains the same format of single-leg ties as before.
The most successful team is Chelsea, who have won the trophy on two consecutive seasons by beating Shakhtar Donetsk on 13 April 2015 and PSG on 18 April 2016.
Danesius Marteh, [email protected] (Reporter)