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Tim Weah to miss USMNT match vs. Canada due to COVID vaccination requirements

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Timothy Weah earned the start in Thursday’s World Cup Qualifying win for the U.S. men’s national team, helping start the sequence leading to the game-winning goal, but he will be unable to help Gregg Berhalter’s side on Sunday against Canada in Hamilton.

Weah did not meet the vaccination requirements to enter Canada and will therefore miss Sunday’s Concacaf World Cup qualifier, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed on Saturday.

Although Weah is considered fully vaccinated in France, where he plays professional for Ligue 1 side Lille, he vaccination status is considered insufficient by Canadian standards. The Lille winger will now travel directly to Minnesota ahead of Wednesday’s home World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

“Tim Weah will be unavailable for selection in this game as he was not permitted to travel into Canada because of a vaccination issue,” Berhalter said. “Whereas in France, he’s fully vaccinated didn’t meet the criteria for the Canadian entry.”

The development is a disappointing one for Weah, who has been a difference-making player in the past three USMNT matches.

“He had one shot, one vaccination. He got COVID, he was awaiting a second shot, and due to the time of when he got COVID, he wasn’t able to get that second shot yet,” Berhalter said. “However, in France, he’s he’s listed as fully vaccinated, because the one shot plus COVID means your vaccinated, you’re okay. And as a technicality, it wasn’t acceptable in Canada.

“This is something we can’t control the nuances of the COVID protocol, and we just have to deal with it. And it will be about the next man stepping up and doing their job.”

Weah played 72 minutes on Thursday as the USMNT defeated El Salvador 1-0 in Columbus, Ohio, moving one step closer to clinching its spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The 21-year-old started the sequence that eventually led to Antonee Robinson’s game-winning goal, with Weah’s dribble into the area and blocked shot finding its way to Jesus Ferreira, who headed it into Robinson’s path for the finish.

Weah has scored one goal and registered one assist in six qualifiers so far in the octagonal round.

Brenden Aaronson is the leading candidate to replace Weah in the USMNT lineup, though Berhalter would have to decide whether to deploy Aaronson on the right wing, or use him on the left wing, where he has played almost exclusively in his wing deployments for the USMNT. That would require Christian Pulisic to switch to the right side rather than his preferred left-wing role.

Weah recently returned to action at club level with Lille in the past week after suffering a thigh injury in December. The winger has registered three assists in 16 league appearances in France’s top flight.

In addition to Weah’s absence this weekend, Berhalter also confirmed that defender Brooks Lennon has returned to Atlanta United due to a knee injury. Lennon featured in the USMNT’s 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in December, but has not played in the current qualifying cycle.

The USMNT can leapfrog Canada in the octagonal round table with a victory at Tim Hortons Field on Sunday. The teams played out a 1-1 draw in Nashville back in September.

Comments

  1. Nicely played Canada.
    How did the USSF miss until the day prior to the game?
    The only good new is that at least Weah wont have an enlarged heart.

    Reply
    • I don’t get it. Since he had Covid the odds of him having myocarditis are ~0.146%, compared to the 0.0006% of people who show it post vaccine. Somebody else can do the math for me, but in terms of multiples that’s thousand (millions?) of times greater chance that Tim Weah actually does “have an enlarged heart.” Seems like bad news to me. So again, not really sure if i get the comment.

      Reply
  2. This should not have been a “development”. This should have been well thought out in advance. Ideally the USSF should have moved heaven and earth to get their players fully vaccinated and boosted to avoid such situations, or being unable to do that, know the vax status of each and every player for each and every country early enough to bring added reinforcements into the roster. In fairness, perhaps they did account for Weah’s situation and just waited to spring it on the Canadians at the last second. If so, kudos, but if they were in any way caught by surprise somebody needs to be held accountable.

    Reply
    • Apparently they believed that it would be waved because he actually had and recovered from the virus which I think gives you better immunity anyway. Still kind of silly since he could have gotten a shot for free at a Walgreens in Nashville in September then a month later at one in Austin.

      Reply
      • better? ha. as a general matter immunity to a coronavirus is measured in months — was understood as such by virologists before this even started. which is why i can get a new cold every year. hence natural immunity is a weak commodity. hence re-infections. 2/3 of the UK omicron infections were re-infections. second, some of the people who either want or think they have natural immunity are now dead. it doesn’t necessarily work and one has to consider the downside risk if you get sick or dead as opposed to immune. last, there has been some djokovic style chicanery where people claim to have been sick to evade vaccines.

        canada has much better virus numbers than us. americans generally don’t know what they are talking about on epidemiology or public health and are instead “learning” fake lessons about economic and other compromises. eg “kids need to be in school,” then the largest case load ever. virus 101 is kids in schools spread disease like wildfire. we live in like bizarro-land. nothing we believe about this is true.

        i mean, seriously, you think people in the era of plague or smallpox would have said this “but i have an immune system” nonsense?? we’ve killed 800k plus immune systems.

        i fully support canada in having actual public health enforcement and it’s our and weah’s fault for not catching the subtlety here. judging by the timing he got turned away at border control after costing us a plane ticket, and would then have been stuck in an airport waiting to go back.

    • Also silly is Eustaquio because of his Canadian citizenship is allowed to enter the country with active Covid (I believe outside of his contagious window according to the CDC guidelines).

      Reply

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