Getty Images

Weah: I’m open to going out on loan in January


Coming off a busy preseason where he was deeply involved in the Paris Saint-Germain first team, Timothy Weah turned down the chance to leave the French capital on loan, hoping to push for playing time even once the World Cup stars returned to fitness.

With Weah now though firmly on the fringes, he seems open again to leaving temporarily in search of playing time.

“I’m still happy that I didn’t go on loan because everybody is telling me ‘You should have gone on loan,'” Weah told after the U.S. Men’s National Team’s defeat to Colombia on Thursday. “I’m not playing now [at PSG], but I’m still so happy going to training and experiencing everything they’re doing and watching them and taking up after them and trying to do the stuff they do. It’s huge in building a career and building on your game as a young guy.”

Weah, the son of former World Player of the Year and PSG striker George Weah, has been a regular with the U.S. Men’s National Team since the disaster in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago when the USMNT missed out on qualification for the World Cup. Weah possesses speed and great skills for a player of his age (18-years old), but he’s only going to grow so much at PSG if he’s just practicing and not getting game time. He’s so far only featured in two Ligue 1 matches this season and he has one appearance in the Coupe de France. Of course, he also has two goals. It’s been difficult since the return of Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria from their World Cup breaks.

On Thursday, Weah’s decisive run inside helped put him in a perfect spot to deliver a wonderful pass into the run of Bobby Wood, who finished to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead at the time. It’s moments like that both PSG and USMNT fans hope become regular in the future, as well as scoring goals himself.

So where could Weah go? If he wants a year-long loan, perhaps he could move to an MLS club, though it might be a bit of a downgrade if he could find a club who wants him in Ligue 1 or in the Bundesliga, which has a great track record of developing and playing youngsters.

Neymar gives jersey to crying boy as PSG beats Rennes

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS — Neymar was whistled off the pitch but showed he held no grudge against the Rennes fans, giving his shirt to a young boy who managed to run across the pitch to hug the Brazil star on Sunday in the French league.

With PSG leading 3-1, Neymar slowly walked back to the Paris Saint-Germain bench in the 90th minute of the match at Rennes as coach Thomas Tuchel made his final substitution when the boy escaped security and ran toward the striker.

[ RECAP: West Ham 0-0 Chelsea ]

The boy burst into tears when he reached the player and pointed at his shirt. Neymar took the boy under his arm and walked back to the sideline, gesturing toward security guards to make them understand the situation was under control and he did not want them to intervene.

Neymar then took off his shirt and gave it to the boy as he was taken away by stewards.

Neymar had a mostly anonymous performance before the incident, with a mediocre display in Brittany. Five days after slumping to its first loss this season in a 3-2 Champions League defeat at Liverpool, PSG struggled in the first half but came from behind to win 3-1 and remain perfect in the French league with a sixth consecutive win.

PSG remains five points clear at the top of the standings.

Playing without the suspended Kylian Mbappe, the defending champions faced strong resistance from an inspired home side that defended well and destabilized PSG on the break.

PSG conceded early when Adrien Rabiot scored a clumsy own goal. Tuchel’s side managed to turn things around with goals from Angel Di Maria, Thomas Meunier and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Rennes played with three attacking players and applied early pressure on Gianluigi Buffon’s goal. Mbaye Niang and Ismaila Sarr tested the Italian keeper before Rabiot inadvertently sent the ball into Buffon’s net from a corner after a header from Niang ricocheted off his shoulder in the 11th minute.

Rennes could not build on the momentum and started to play deeper as PSG took control of the match and leveled just before halftime with a low-shot from Julian Draxler’s cut-back pass.

Edinson Cavani hit the post at the start of the second half and Meunier scored at the end of a swift counterattack with a right-footed shot. Subsitute Choupo-Moting then celebrated his league debut with a goal in the 83rd minute from Meunier’s pass.

More AP soccer: and

PSG rolls out Air Jordan third kit, hoops jersey
1 Comment

“Today is the day that football and style change forever,” claims the release on Paris Saint-Germain’s web site, and in some ways that isn’t as absurd as it sounds coming from the French football giants.

PSG announced a massive clothing line with Air Jordan on Thursday, including a Michael Jordan No. 23 “Paris” basketball jersey and a third kit for the 2018-19 season.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks ]

Aside from color, the kit doesn’t look much different from the standard Nike PSG jersey. The Jumpman, of course, stands out opposite the PSG crest.

Now let’s see if the Jordan two-three Paris jersey sells as well as his Space Jam replica. One thing’s for sure, this line does seem set to sell loads overseas and domestically.

Neymar is into it. From PSG.FR:

“For me the Jordan Brand means phenomenal, magic, irreverent. It is perfect for Paris and for the Champions League. It is a huge responsibility to carry Jordan’s name on a shirt and we look forward to an excellent season. Two partners that are champions, both Paris and Jordan, so I really hope this connection brings us many titles.”

Tuchel says Areola will start over Buffon at PSG

Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Leave a comment

When Gianluigi Buffon signed with Paris Saint-Germain, it seemed like Alphonse Areola would need a new home in order to further develop as a future French national team backstop.

[ MORE: Rabiot in demand ]

Three matches into the season, Areola got his chance to overtake Buffon and the 25-year-old is yet to look back.

Thomas Tuchel’s seen enough, at least for now. From RMC Sport in France:

“Yes, I chose,” Tuchel said. “The decision is not final but I told Alphonse that he was in my opinion in pole position to be No. 1. He comes from the academy. PSG means everything to him, and he absolutely wants to prove himself to PSG. This is a situation that must be respected and on which we have to capitalize. We must have players of this nature, we need this type of player who have the soul of PSG, who embody the club.”

Areola’s taken the long road to this post, having been loaned to Lens, Bastia, and Villarreal. Twice-capped for France, he won the World Cup as Hugo Lloris‘ deputy this summer.

And Chelsea’s goalkeeping coach, Christophe Lollicon, says he’s better than Lloris (not that a Chelsea man would dig at Spurs…) From HITC:

“People live in a dream world when it comes to Lloris a bit too much, but for me Areola is above. Against Germany, he was positionally very good and in his ability to come out. It’s the basis of all goalkeepers, but not everyone does it well. He’s pro-active in his anticipation.”

Buffon’s pretty good, so the situation could change at any time but Areola would have to open the door.

Where in the world will Rabiot wind up?

Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Adrien Rabiot’s refusal to sign a new deal at the Parc des Princes was always going to keep his name in the rumor mill this season, but the 23-year-old’s play might make it ever-present.

[ MORE: USMNT-Mexico preview ]

Players his age and with his form don’t often hit the market, and Liverpool is just one name linked with his services. Reports from this summer said Manchester United, Man City, Juventus, and Barcelona all met with his representatives, and that was when he’d cost money.

If the relationship at PSG is contentious but Rabiot continues to thrive, the club will face a real problem in January should Les Parisiens advance from their brutal Champions League group with Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade, and Napoli.

Rabiot has been very good to start this season, better than all but seven Ligue 1 players in a small sample size. He’s a pretty complete midfielder who passed a lot and rarely gives away possession.

He’s constantly been good in league play, but has more often than not found an even higher level in the UCL, scoring against Real Madrid, Man City, and Chelsea in the past three campaigns (The reversal against Barcelona in 2016-17 a rare exception).

There are few midfields in the world which would not be improved by adding Rabiot. The longer he waits to sign a new deal, the more fierce the bidding will become for his signature. Expect a long wait, and a possible arrival in England.