Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Image: MNUFC2

We had a chance to sit down for a 1-on-1 interview with Minnesota United FC Homegrown striker Patrick Weah, who recently returned to the pitch with MNUFC2 in MLS NEXT Pro after missing more than 18 months with a torn ACL.

The injury itself occurred during a training session ahead of the Loons’ 2021 playoff match in Portland, providing a heartbreaking end to a year that saw the then 17-year old become just the second Homegrown in MNUFC history and make his first two professional appearances.

While the initial timetable stated he was set to miss “most of the 2022 season”, the team and Weah decided it would be best to take the entire season and ensuing offseason to heal up and not rush anything.

It wasn’t the Wayzata alum’s first time dealing with such an injury, as he actually tore the opposite ACL in high school.

“It was just a loose ball reaction,” said Weah of what caused the injury. “I got there first and then ran into somebody and then twisted my knee. From there, I knew it was what it was. I was in pain and started crying, you know, because I knew it was gonna be a long one.”

The injury forced Weah to take a closer look at how he’s treating his body on a day-to-day basis. How he eats, sleeps, trains, etc. He sees the whole process as a blessing in disguise, forcing him to do all the extra right things off the field.

It seems to be working so far, as the attacker has two goals and an assist in just three starts since his return with the “Twos”, with a goal contribution in each of those matches.

“I feel like [the injury] was a blessing in disguise, because it taught me a lot,” said Weah. “I don’t take it as a setback.”

Before the injury, the 19-year old had the opportunity to travel to Spain and train with La Liga’s Real Betis for two weeks during the summer.

Weah mentioned the training stint was actually put in motion by the Spanish club. His agent called after his pair of first-team appearances, saying Betis was interested in having him over to train with the club. Betis contacted Minnesota about the opportunity and the Loons obliged.

​”Tt was a good experience to be somewhere else, at the highest level of football,” said Weah. “That’s [a] European top three league, you know? [To] see how they do things and just learn from my experience, It was good. I learned a lot.”

While getting back to first-team minutes is the ultimate goal, Weah said his main focus right now is working and striving to get better every day and do the things that will help him continue to improve.

The forward’s biggest area he wants to improve upon is his pressing and decision making. He said defensive responsibilities as a striker are something he’s had to learn in the pro game and adapt to, especially in MNUFC manager Adrian Heath’s system.

“Adrian wants you to work,” Weah said.

Listen to the full conversation with Patrick Weah HERE.

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