Tim Weah (left), playing against Mexico Friday night, usually has had a step on his opponent. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Much like the way he has impacted the U.S. men’s national team in the past month or so, Tim Weah could not have said it any better after Tuesday night’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw at Jamaica.
“Right now, I’m just at a happy place,” he said.
And you would be, too, given what he has accomplished.
In his last three matches, Weah has been the key player for the Americans, making things happening. He has been in the middle of three of the last four goals.
In the 2-1 home victory over Costa Rica on Oct. 13, the 21-year-old forward set up the own goal by Leonel Moreira that gave the USA the lead.
Weah was the man of the match of the USA’s 2-0 destruction of Mexico in Cincinnati on Friday, as his right-wing cross set up Christian Pulisic’s goal that snapped the scoreless deadlock.
And on Tuesday night, he tallied the lone goal for the visitors in their tie at The Office.
Yeah, the Lille forward has every right to be at a happy place.
"I was happy to get the goal against them but unfortunately we didn't get the full points but we take the one point and we continue."
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 17, 2021
“I’m confident when I’m in here,” Weah said during a media Zoom conference call after the match. “I’m enjoying my football here. We just have to continue bouncing off the positive energy that we have.”
Weah joined the team during the October qualifying window and his first away game, a 1-0 loss at Panama “was a bit of a shock,” he said.
“Obviously wasn’t the easiest game,” he added. “It was one of those games where you have to fight to the end. It’s a rough game. Just got back at the training next day with the boys. Coach helped me immensely. He put me back on the right track. To be honest, the energy that I get from the boys is amazing.
“Each time I come into camp and just being with them is a blessing. It just shows on the field. We have really good connections. I’m playing very well. I’m happy that I can even contribute to goals and assist. Right now, I’m just at a happy place. I’m just keeping it super positive. I just hope for the best for us and we can do it. We just have to put our minds to it.”
The son of soccer icon George Weah put his mind and legs to work in the 11th minute, taking a pass from Ricardo Pepi, meandering through traffic on the left side of the penalty area before beating goalkeeper Andre Blake from a tough angle from four yards with his left foot to give the Americans a one-goal advantage.
“Great goal. Great individual effort by Tim,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said of Weah’s second international goal and first WCQ tally. “Timmy played a great window. The game against Mexico was a very good performance. I thought today was a good performance, also.”
The Rosedale, N.Y. native and former B.W. Gottschee standout usually has done his damage on the right side because he is right-footed.
“My natural instinct is to cut in and use my right foot,” he said. “II got the ball on my left foot and I just knew that I had to take my opportunity and shot the ball across the goal. It went in, fortunately for us. Really happy to contribute.”
Weah ran out of gas in the second half in the heat and humidity of Kingston, so Berhalter replaced him with Pulisic in the 66th minute.
USMNT supporters and Weah must wait more than two months before he can contribute again. The next WCQ for the Americans isn’t until Jan. 27, when they host El Salvador at a venue to be determined.
Then we’ll know if Tim Weah is still in that happy place.