Tim Weah in action during Thursday’s WCQ vs. El Salvador. (© Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK)
By Michael Lewis
U.S. men’s national team forward Tim Weah has been forced to miss Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Canada due to a vaccination issue.
Weah, who is considered fully vaccinated in France, where he plays for Ligue 1 side Lille, did not meet Canada’s criteria for visitors.
The Americans meet the Canadians in a top of the table clash in Hamilton, Ontario on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
Weah, who has performed well for the USMNT on the right flank, had received his first shot, then contracted COVID-19, but wasn’t able to get his second shot yet.
“However in France, he’s listed as fully vaccinated because the one shot plus COVID means your vaccinated, you’re okay,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “As a technicality, it wasn’t acceptable in Canada. This is something we can’t control, the nuances of the COVID protocol. We just have to deal with it. It will be about the next man stepping up and doing their job.”
Berhalter said he and the team knew about Weah’s situation “a couple of days ago.”
“This was a technicality, a nuance technicality, that we’re hoping was going to get pushed through and unfortunately it didn’t,” he said.
Weah will be available for the U.S.’s third and final WCQ match of the winter window when it hosts Honduras in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, Feb. 2. He is traveling to Minnesota on Saturday, U.S. Soccer said on Twitter.
In another development, defender Brooks Lennon has returned to Atlanta United after suffering a slight ankle injury, Berhalter said.
“We’re going to get some information in the next couple of days on that,” Berhalter said.
The USA has a 25-man roster for the Canada encounter.