Daily Distraction: Read SI on Tim Weah before the U.S. men's national team kicks off

Sports Illustrated recently profiled the rising soccer star, who will take the field tonight in Columbus for a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Tim Weah celebrates after scoring a goal against Jamaica.

The U.S. men's national team is set to take the pitch at a chilly Lower.com Field tonight (Thursday, Jan. 27) in a World Cup qualifying match against El Salvador. 

In advance of the game, which kicks off at 7 p.m., set aside some time to read a new Sports Illustrated profile on U.S. forward Tim Weah. The piece, from reporter Brian Straus, details how Weah has overcome both injuries and the weight of his last name (his father, George Weah, is a former pro soccer player and winner of the Ballon d'Or) in order to emerge as a key player for the U.S. team.

Straus writes:

Weah made his qualifying debut in October. As an emergency starter in the vital home game against Costa Rica, he created the own goal that lifted the Americans to a come-from-behind 2–1 win. That performance in Columbus — the site of Thursday’s game — plus injuries to Pulisic and Reyna, helped thrust him into the starting XI a month later against Mexico. And he was electric that night in Cincinnati, frequently putting El Tri on its heels before delivering the backbreaking cross to Pulisic. A few days later, Weah scored the only goal in a gritty 1–1 draw at Jamaica, his mother’s homeland. Weah had arrived.

The piece also includes quotes from U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter, who retraces the difficulties Weah experienced making his way back from injury (a pair of hamstring injuries shelved him much of the 2019-20 season) before more recently establishing a rhythm.

“And now that he’s back, especially with the national team, now it’s bringing him to that rhythm, continuing to develop him and talk to him about what the expectations are in this environment," Berhalter said. "But he’s been as open as anyone. … He wants to get it right and he really feels part of this group now, and I think that’s where things start to come together nicely.”

Read the whole feature here.