President George Weah’s son Timothy has been called up by United States Senior Men’s team coach Dave Sarachan for the country’s upcoming friendly match against Paraguay.
Tim Weah was among 23 young players and 5 first time call-ups listed for the friendly encounter slated for March 27. Following his call to the senior national team, the 18-year-old posted on his official facebook page, “Feeling extremely blessed and honored to receive my first call up to the Senior US Men’s National Team. Thank GOD and my parents for guiding me along the way and also to everyone who has stuck behind me and supported me throughout my journey. Now it’s time to start this new chapter in my life and I’m always up for a challenge,” he posted on his page.
According to US coach Sarachan, he called the 18-year-old because he wants him and the others to have a chance to be a part of the National Team for a number of years to come and will help them get experience at the top level.
“Tim has obviously been very successful with our Youth National Teams. More recently with PSG, he’s playing for a high-profile club who has seen fit to give him first-team minutes, which is a great sign of his progression. He’s a versatile player that can fit in at a couple different positions, and when you have speed and technical ability combined as a young kid, I think he’s an interesting prospect to offer an opportunity to,” coach Sarachan told ussoccer.com.
Weah’s post was engulfed by huge criticism from several Liberians who expressed disappointment over the youngster’s decision to play for the US national team.
“I am highly disappointed in you Timothy Weah. George Weah the greatest African footballer of all time son playing for the USA national team? Timothy you are a disgrace to your generation. If your dad can be President of Liberia, then you playing for the USA national team, it means you don’t even know your identity, you are lost and need to find your true identity,” one Simeon G. Kpaingbaye said.
However, other Liberians also see the 18-year-old’s move as a great boost to his football career.
“Tim we are proud of you. I am a Liberian and a big fan and supporter of your father, the world is watching you because of your father’s record and want to see if you will replace your Dad, over here in USA they can’t stop talking about you. Please keep focused and do your best to make it to the top.”
According to Patrick O’neal, who works at the New Jersey Youth Soccer Development Association, there are three major factors that attract players in choosing one country over another, which Liberia still lacks. He said a nation that the player feels more attached to, emotional bond, the country that has the potential to increase the player’s market value, and a nation that will offer the player more playing opportunities. “Based on research conducted by FIFA, Liberia’s football needs systemic re-branding,” he said.