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USMNT forward Timothy Weah considered joining the Union Academy before going abroad

Weah talked about the academy on Orange Slices, the podcast Mark McKenzie co-hosts with Heath Pearce

Soccer: International Friendly Men’s Soccer-Bolivia at USA Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Before Tim Weah went to Europe to join the Paris Saint-Germain Academy, the 21-year-old forward weighed the option of joining the residency program at the Philadelphia Union Academy.

“I was gonna go to Philly at one point, I’m not gonna lie,” Weah said in a recent episode of Orange Slices, a podcast hosted by Mark McKenzie and Heath Pierce. “Before I came to Europe. We came out to visit Philly, Philadelphia Union and I was gonna come to the club, because the way they were their academy and the way they have that residency program is amazing.”

Weah, who grew up in New York spent two years in the New York Red Bulls Academy prior to going to France and while he didn’t end up competing for the blue and gold he did score his first goal for the USMNT at Subaru Park in Chester in May 2018 against Bolivia.

He goes on in the podcast to talk about the importance of creating environments for young players like the Union have where they are exposed to a professional environment at younger ages.

“I feel like every team needs to have a residency and academy program because that’s what these European clubs have and that’s what they have over us,” he said. “All these kids are together twenty four seven going to school, playing together, living together and you know they’re building that bond and I think it just makes it better fro the player and sometimes you have to make those sacrifices if you want to take it to the next level.”

Listen to the full episode