Tim Weah

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

What to expect as U.S. kicks off U-20 World Cup

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Tab Ramos’ United States men’s national team may have a navigable U-20 World Cup group, but it doesn’t set-up nicely.

Not that supporters are ready to make excuses; The U.S. is expected to make a decent run over the next month in Poland.

[ WATCH: The U-20 World Cup on Telemundo ]

Timothy Weah, Paxton Pomykal, and the Baby Yanks meet Ukraine at 2:30 p.m. ET in their Group D debut, hopeful of a run past the quarterfinals. The Americans haven’t played three post-group stage matches since a fourth place finish in 1999.

A group win is imperative with loaded favorites France expected to win Group E and set for a spot on the other side of the knockout bracket.

Aside from Josh Sargent’s call-up to the full USMNT, the Yanks have every reason to be optimistic about their potential. The 21-man player squad breaks down to six players on German sides, 10 American-based players, two from the Netherlands, and one each from Portugal, Spain, and France.

Weah is probably the most exciting one of the bunch, having success at Celtic on loan from PSG and earning high praise from Neymar amongst others, but Pomykal is one of the best MLS products in some time as a center midfielder.

Both Pomykal and Chris Durkin are getting significant minutes at the Major League Soccer level, while Mark McKenzie has nearly 20 with the Philadelphia Union as a senior player.

Beyond that are exciting strikers Sebastian Soto, who debuted for Hannover 96 this season, and Wolfsburg prospect Ulysses Llanez.

But the Yanks will look to Weah for that extra special something, the 19-year-old scoring six goals between PSG and Celtic this season.

Friday’s debut will be followed by a Monday match against Nigeria before Thursday’s tango witj Qatar.

Winning Group D means the third-place team from B, E, or F, while finishing second is a Round of 16 match-up with France, who boasts a number of high-end players already playing regularly at the highest levels of European soccer.

WATCH: USMNT’s Weah scores winner for Celtic

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon hasn’t been starting PSG loanee Tim Weah, so perhaps scoring when the boss wrote his name in the XI will help change that.

Making his first league start since Brendan Rodgers left for Leicester City, Weah nodded the Bhoys over the line in the 14th minute.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 3-0 Brighton and Hove Albion ]

The 19-year-old American now has four goals on his loan stint, three coming in league play, and has also produced an assist.

Weah’s versatility has found him at left wing, center forward, and right wing.

Celtic leads second place Rangers by 13 points.

Celtic super sub Weah decides scoreless Celtic match with assist, goal (video)

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Whether Timothy Tim Timo Weah becomes an international star or not is one thing, but he’s quickly proving rather adept for the Scottish Premiership.

On loan from Paris Saint-Germain and tipped by none other than Neymar for a monster half-season, Weah came off the bench to inspire Celtic’s 2-0 win at St. Johnstone with a goal and an assist on Sunday.

Weah, 18, subbed into a scoreless match with 16 minutes to play, and produced the result with an assist and then a goal. Celtic is six points clear of Rangers atop the table. The next Old Firm Derby isn’t until March 31 at Celtic Park.

The American attacker now has three goals and an assist in five appearances for Celtic, who is the best team in the Scottish Premiership has won those matches by a combined score of 14-0. And, notably, the league is somewhere between the Eredivisie and MLS in quality.

So there’s plenty of proving ground left for Weah. But so far, so great.

And remember: He has two goals in four senior appearances for PSG, plus a goal in eight caps for the #USMNT.

Video below the reaction of Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.

Weah, Harkes bag goals off bench in Scottish debuts

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Saturday was a Scottish Cup day, and two Americans had memorable debuts in their new homes.

Tim Weah and Ian Harkes came off the bench for Celtic and Dundee United, respectively, in victories over lower league sides.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 4-3 Palace ]

Harkes did it in stoppage time to cap off United’s 4-0 win at Scottish League One side Montrose.

A 70th minute sub, Harkes scored in the fourth minute of stoppage when he finished across goal from the outside of the six.

Weah needed less time. The 18-year-old ran onto a through ball from Dedryck Boyata and poked it home 14 minutes after arriving on the scene against visiting Airdrieonians, also of Scottish League One.

Calm finish from the Paris Saint-Germain loanee.

Neymar heaps praise on USMNT’s Weah ahead of Celtic loan

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Even with the caveat that they are teammates, Neymar has issued some strong words in support of new Celtic loanee Timothy Weah.

“He has everything to go and be one of the top attacking players in Europe,” Neymar said.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

The American teenager couldn’t quite break into the PSG strike corps, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani chewing up minutes and the precious few remaining sprinkled between 19-year-old Moussa Diaby (2G-5A in 536 minutes) and 21-year-old Christopher Nkunku (1G-1A in 487 minutes, mostly in midfield).

There’s zero shame in that, and Neymar is tipping Weah to not just play well in Glasgow, but to star for the Scottish leaders. From The Scottish Daily Record:

“He has the talent, we know that, but also he has a great attitude. From the first day I have met him he has wanted to learn off the players who have already won the major trophies, from the players who have already achieved big things in the game.

“He is a fun guy to be around – but also he is very humble and that is what you want to see from a young player. It’s what a coach wants to see because it means they want to learn.”

Neymar went on to say Weah has the same demeanor the Brazilian possessed as a 18-year-old.

Weah has a goal in eight caps for the USMNT, and two goals in six senior appearances for PSG.