U.S. Men’s National Team forward Timothy Weah enters September camp with a different mentality than he did in May.
Part of the 18-year-old’s confidence emerged from his fast start to the Ligue 1 campaign with Paris Saint Germain.
Weah opened his Ligue 1 account on August 12 in PSG’s 3-0 win over Caen and followed that up the next week with a 45-minute stint against Guingamp.
“I’m more confident now,” Weah told reporters on Monday. “I’m training every day with the best players so in this camp I really want to show the world and show our supporters what I can really do on the ball. Build plays, spark plays, create plays, score goals. That’s my main goal, racking up on stats. Once I get that no matter what age, 18, 19, 20, I’ll always have that confidence.”
Weah’s become one of the most talked about players in the next generation of USMNT talent since making his debut in March against Paraguay.
Although he scored his first international goal in May against Bolivia, Weah admitted he was playing with a bit less confidence that he has at the moment.
“As you saw against Bolivia (in May), coming in as a young 18-year-old playing against professionals and playing with professionals that I used to watch,” Weah said. “I came in with a little bit less confidence, and a little bit less swagger because I was kind of holding back. I wanted to play simple.”
Weah’s self-confidence led him to make an important decision regarding his career, as he opted to stay with PSG instead of going out on loan.
The 18-year-old’s relationship with Thomas Tuchel, who was Christian Pulisic’s manager at Borussia Dortmund, was one of the factors that helped Weah lean toward staying in Paris.
“I was supposed to go on loan earlier this season and I chose not to go,” Weah said. “I chose to stay and work on my game because I feel like under [PSG manager Thomas] Tuchel and the players that we have it’s going to be great for me. My game is going to develop so much and I’m going to mature and I feel like that was the best decision for me.
“I don’t want to rush anything,” Weah said. “I’m only 18. But in the future we’ll see. Maybe a loan takes me. Maybe after this year I’ll be a little more comfortable playing professional soccer.”
Weah’s next test on the international stage features a step up in opposition, as Brazil awaits the USMNT on Friday at MetLife Stadium.