Gideon Zelalem

USMNT prospect Gedion Zelalem on Arsenal’s roster for Red Bulls match


Seventeen-year old U.S. Men’s National Team prospect, Gedion Zelalem, has made Arsenal’s 20-man roster for Saturday’s friendly against the New York Red Bulls.

Zelalem will be part of a Gunners squad that includes Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere but is without fellow stars Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Serge Gnabry as well as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, who are recovering from injury.

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann has long coveted Zelalem and the 17-year old looks to be next in line to don the Stars & Stripes. Born in Germany to parents of Ethiopian descent, the Arsenal midfielder lived in Washington D.C. area from age 9 to 15. Zelalem’s father, Woldyes, is rumored to be trying to obtain US citizenship. If Woldyes manages to do so before his son turns 18,Gedion will automatically become a citizen through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which “serves to facilitate the acquisition of US citizenship of the foreign-born children of US citizens – both biological and adopted – who did not acquire citizenship at birth.”

Zelalem made his first-team bow for Arsenal in a January FA Cup match against Coventry City and has been an unused substitute in three Premier League matches. He signed a first-team contract with the North London club this past March.

Arsenal and the Red Bulls are set to kick-off Saturday at 5pm ET in Red Bull Arena. Below is the Gunners match roster in full:

GOALKEEPERS: Damien Martinez, Wojciech Szczesny

DEFENDERS: Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs, Isaac Hayden, Carl Jenkinson, Ignasi Miquel, Nacho Monreal

MIDFIELDERS: Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Abou Diaby, Mathieu Flamini, Kristoffer Olsson, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Jon Toral, Jack Wilshire, Gedion Zelalem

FORWARD: Chuba Akpom

Klopp to the Kop: Multiple reports say deal agreed at Liverpool

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp shouts to his players during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund at Juventus Arena on February 24, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.

The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.

[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]

Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.

From the BBC:

No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.

There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.

This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.

Appeal rejected! Lionel Messi will face court trial in Spain

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Lionel Messi looks dejected after the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos on September 23, 2015 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.

Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.

From the BBC:

Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.

Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.

Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.