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Like father, like son: Tim Weah hopes for soccer success

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Of course, Tim Weah credits a parent for his fast rise in soccer.

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Mom, not his famous dad.

“She’s had a huge impact on where I’m at now,” the 18-year-old American midfielder said. `She taught me the basics. She pushed me. She was my first coach, intramural coach when I was in Florida. That’s where I really started playing.”

Clar Weah was more interested in running as a personal activity but guided Tim’s soccer education. Her husband, George Weah, was the 1995 FIFA Player of the Year and was sworn in as Liberia’s president in January.

“He would just give me little pointers,” Tim Weah said. “He was more of the chill parent, just sitting back, relaxing, enjoying his time. He gave me some key pointers, some really important pointers that I use … like an easy way to score would be to shoot across the goal. He taught me that, and now I use that a lot. Just simple cutting moves, just changing the point of direction where you’re going – stuff that he did when I was playing.”

Tim Weah made his senior team debut in March with Paris Saint-Germain, dad’s club from 1992-95, and after the Ligue 1 title was clinched got his first start last month on the final day of the season.

He scored a hat trick against Paraguay last fall in the round of 16 at the Under-17 World Cup, made his U.S. national team debut in March against Paraguay, then scored against Bolivia on Memorial Day. He’s part of the American team playing Saturday against World Cup-bound France in Lyon, facing a Les Bleus roster that includes PSG colleagues Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola.

“I have some teammates on France, so that would be great scoring against them,” Weah said.

Tim was born in Brooklyn at a time his dad commuted from Europe to New York between games. The family moved in 2004 to the Pembroke Pines, Florida – a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, then in 2006 to the Rosedale section of Queens, New York, near the Nassau County border. Tim stayed for eight years, then relocated to Paris to join PSG’s academy.

He doesn’t have a recollection of watching dad play.

“But as I got older I started to go on the internet and explore and figure out who he was,” he said.

Weah is part of a young American roster brought in following the end of the Americans’ streak of seven straight World Cup appearances. With interim coach Dave Sarachan looking toward 2022, the group includes 18-year-old Josh Sargent, 19-year-old Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, 20-year-old Cameron Carter-Vickers and 22-year-old Matt Miazga.

Sarachan sees Weah as unusually mature given his family background.

“When you’re around it like that, it’s like osmosis. You absorb so much, even subconsciously,” he said. “I think for any player that’s in an environment like that for your formative years, it’s just going to sort of manifest.”

At the same time, Weah has the frothy, infectious excitement of a newcomer, a quick, wide smile and an anything-is-possible personality. After scoring against Bolivia, he praised a teammate whose pass helped lead to his goal, saying “I love him.” He termed the crowd of 11,000-plus “insane for a young guy. I wanted to play my heart out for them.”

He predicted mom was screaming while watching on television and said dad probably was viewing in the middle of the night from Liberia. Tim remembered his reaction when told he’d be getting his first U.S. start.

“Those are the first two people I called, my parents,” he said. `They were really happy. They told me to keep my head and just go out there and play: We love you and just do your thing. We know you got it.”

Weah moved to France not knowing the language – he took Spanish in school – but now is fluent. He was invited to his initial training session with the first team in November 2016 and is convinced playing alongside stars such Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva throttled up his soccer education.

“The guys at PSG, they don’t really look at what your parents have done. They kind of just look at you for you, and they want to see you succeed and they want to see you play, so I feel like being with such a great group of guys who accept me for me and how I play, I feel it’s awesome, and that’s why I click so well with them,” Weah said. “I just came in, didn’t have a big head, I stood in my little corner and just learned, and now I feel like I’m one of them. So next year is going to be really fun.”

PSG has a new coach in Thomas Tuchel, who two years ago promoted a 17-year-old American midfielder, Christian Pulisic, to Borussia Dortmund’s first team. At some point this year, Weah also could get a new U.S. coach. The new-look Americans want to put last October’s loss at Trinidad and Tobago far behind.

“It was time to rebuild. It was time to get all the younger guys in, and it was time to start over again,” Weah said. “I think the future’s really bright. And I can’t wait. I can’t wait.”

Suarez unveiled by Atletico Madrid; Messi takes swipe at Barcelona

Luis Suarez Atletico Madrid
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The iconic partnership of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona is a thing of the past and the greatest player in the world is clearly unhappy to see it.

Meanwhile, the Uruguayan pairing of Suarez and manager Diego Simeone is just beginning (and we think Joao Felix may have something to say here, too).

Atletico Madrid announced the signing of ex-Liverpool star Suarez on Friday, injecting power into its attack in a bid to overtake Real Madrid and Barca and reclaim La Liga superiority.

Suarez will turn 34 in January. The two sides meet Nov. 22 in Madrid and May 9 at the Camp Nou.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk Unfiltered, Week 2 ]

He scored 20 or more goals in each of his six seasons at Barcelona, including a career-high 58 (with 40 league goals) in 2015-16. He bagged 21 goals and 11 assists despite being limited to under 2700 minutes last season due to injuries.

Could Suarez’s arrival have a bonus outcome and strengthen the resolve of countryman Jose María Gimenez to stay in Madrid? The aforementioned trio is part of a history of Uruguayan success at Atleti, as Diego Godin, Diego Forlan, and Fernando Correa have all delivered the goods.

Messi and Suarez enjoyed a terrific chemistry on- and off-the-field with Barcelona (Who can forget the photo of the pair calmly watching their kids play soccer, which is turned into a meme used by every soccer coach in the world to decry more volatile soccer parents and guardians).

The Argentine used Instagram to salute his CONMEBOL and now La Liga rival. He’s not happy. Here are some selections from his post, translated by Sky Sports.

“You deserved a fitting farewell for the person that you are: One of the best players in the club’s history, having achieved incredible things both individually and collectively. You didn’t deserve to be pushed out the way they did, but the truth is nothing surprises me anymore.”

“I was gradually accepting it, but when I got into the dressing room today, how hard it’s going to be to no longer have you around in the day-to-day on and off the pitch really dawned on me. We’re going to miss you so much. …. I wish you all the best for your new challenge. Sending love to you and your family. See you soon, mate.”

Messi tried to leave Barcelona earlier this summer but La Liga backed the club’s reading of his contract and the player was unwilling to expose his club to a court battle.

It’s going to be an interesting journey through Messi’s presumed final year at his beloved Barcelona. Will the club’s presidential elections and/or transfer actions do enough to keep him a one-club man beyond the summer of 2021?

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 01: Messi and Suarez after a Barcelona goal against Atletico Madrid in 2017 (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

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Report: Man City offering Otamendi in package for Dias or Kounde

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Manchester City is moving on from Kalidou Koulibaly and has a package in mind as Pep Guardiola moves to improve his center back situation with a couple of weeks to go in the transfer window.

Reporter Fabrizio Romano says that City has offered veteran center back Nicolas Otamendi and money in a $60 million package to both Sevilla and Benfica in pursuit of Jules Kounde and Ruben Dias, respectively.

Gotta love it when the real transfer market looks like the FIFA video game transfer market.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]

Both prospective City additions are much younger than the 32-year-old Otamendi. Dias is 23 and Kounde is 21 and would join Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte in the City back line (and Eric Garcia, for now). Romano says Sevilla turned down the package last week.

Kounde debuted for Bordeaux at the age of 19 and moved to Sevilla in 2019. Between the clubs, he’s played in 111 matches and scored six times. He was named to the Europa League Squad of the Season when Sevilla won the tournament this summer.

Dias is a Benfica lifer and already has 19 caps for the Portuguese national team, a standout member of the side that won the UEFA Nations League. He was linked with Manchester United last year.

As for Otamendi, the Argentine has won nine trophies at Man City over 210 appearances in five seasons. He was also a member of the 2017-18 PFA Team of the Year when City set a number of Premier League records.

The players look similar when put side-by-side in WhoScored’s Player Comparison tool, though obviously there’s a required allotment for the differences in league.

But Dias’ vision and range of passing makes him the top option in the bunch. We’ll see what happens as the days move forward.

WhoScored
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Transfer news: Cyprien to Newcastle; Chelsea, Rice agree terms

Cyprien to Newcastle
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We’ve got a bargain price — Wyatt Cyprien to Newcastle — and one that could hardly be described as anything near a discount — Declan Rice to Chelsea — in our Premier League transfer rumors for Friday.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]

Chelsea’s opening offer to West Ham was about what it paid Leicester City for Ben Chilwell. West Ham is reportedly asking a touch more than the English record Manchester United paid the Foxes for Harry Maguire.

In related news, Leicester knows how to maximize its profits on Three Lions players.


Rice to Chelsea

Declan Rice wants to go home again.

The West Ham midfielder and former Chelsea youth has agreed terms with the Blues on a five-year deal as Frank Lampard aims to buy Rice.

The Express reports that Chelsea has so far offered $57 million to West Ham, who wants about $102 million for the 21-year-old.

Chelsea has already spent more than $300 million this summer after last summer’s transfer ban cost them any new additions.

Rice would join Edouard Mendy, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, and Kai Havertz as big money buys by the Blues in 2020.

Only eight defensive midfielders are ranked higher in value by Transfermarkt: Rodri, Joshua Kimmich, Casemiro, Fabinho, Jorginho, Ruben Neves, and Marcelo Brozovic.

He could become the sixth most expensive English player in history if he costs any more than the $58 million price tag slapped on Chilwell.

That… is something.

Most expensive English player transfers (Transfermarkt)

  • Harry Maguire, Leicester -> Man Utd, $101 million
  • Raheem Sterling, Liverpool -> Man City, $74 million
  • John Stones, Everton -> Man City, $65 million
  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Palace -> Man Utd, $64 million
  • Kyle Walker, Spurs -> Man City, $61 million
  • Ben Chilwell, Leicester -> Chelsea, $58 million

West Ham has to get a huge figure for Rice, especially if the player is sold to a crosstown rival. The Irons have already faced criticism for failures in the transfer market and the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom had captain Mark Noble speaking publicly about his displeasure.

There are also rumors that David Moyes’ targets are too rich and the players being offered the selective Scot are not up to his standards. Maybe the Rice money allows Moyes to get “one of his own” but that’s a significant risk for a man who’s yet to prove he’s an upgrade on Manuel Pellegrini.

Cyprien to Newcastle

Newcastle United’s biggest hole is in the center of the park and the Magpies are again being linked with Nice’s Wylan Cyprien.

Bordeaux is said to be leading the race for the 25-year-old who is out-of-contract at the end of the season and said to be available for a $12 million price tag which would not put off the Magpies.

Cyprien has 23 goals and 12 assists in 127 league outings for Nice, who is coached by Arsenal legend and former NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira.

He is an excellent passer who doesn’t mind a shot and is strong on set pieces, scoring seven times last season. That’s one off his career-best in Ligue 1 goals set in 2016-17.

It’s a report Newcastle fans will probably hope to speak into existence.

Sheffield United – Leeds: How to watch, team news, start time, odds

Sheffield United - Leeds
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Sheffield United – Leeds: Sheffield United is still seeking its first goal of the Premier League season as it welcomes a Leeds United side who is seeing boatloads of goals at both ends of the pitch (Watch live at 7 am ET Sunday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds fell 4-3 to Liverpool to open the PL season and then beat Fulham 4-3 to restart life in the top flight.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Blades started the 2019-20 season with a win and a draw en route to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League but have stumbled out of the gates this season with a 2-0 home loss to Wolves and 1-0 setback at Aston Villa.

STREAM SHEFFIELD UNITED – LEEDS LIVE

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sheffield United – Leeds United this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Sheffield United – Leeds United (INJURY REPORT)

Sheffield United – OUT: John Egan (suspension), Lys Mousset (ankle), Simon Moore (finger)

Leeds United – OUT: Gaetano Berardi (knee), Adam Forshaw (groin), Pablo Hernandez (groin)


What they’re saying: Sheffield United – Leeds United

Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp on meeting Leeds: “I don’t know what the betting companies have got but we’re expected to win in my book so we need to make sure that we’re at it from the start.”

Diego Llorente on joining Leeds from Real Sociedad: “I have a lot of energy and with my abilities I think I can help add to the team and this is the goal for me. … I talked with Pablo Hernandez and he told me about the team, the city and all of the things he said were good, so the decision for me was very easy and I am excited to be here. … Marcelo Bielsa was also a key factor, for me he is the greatest manager in the world and it is an honour, I’ve come to learn as much as possible from him.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Blades are +170 to get a win, showing a slight edge to visiting Leeds and their +160 to collect all three points. A draw nets the wagerer a +235.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: Sheffield United – Leeds


How to watch Sheffield United – Leeds United stream and start time

Kickoff: 7 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com