The Arsenal U-19 team is playing a UEFA Youth League match against Galatasaray at the team’s youth and women’s stadium at Meadow Park in Borehamwood.
With the match headed to halftime scoreless, potential USMNT prospect Gedion Zelalem took matters into his own hands and scored a wonderful solo goal weaving through the box untouched before completing a sliding finish past the helpless goalkeeper.
It’s Zelalem’s first goal for Arsenal at any level since joining the Gunners’ academy in 2013 from Olney Rangers’ U-15 program in Bethesda, Maryland.
Thanks to the kid paving the way, the club went on to beat Galatasaray 5-1 with a monstrous second half.
The 17-year-old midfielder is a bigtime possibility for the United States National Team’s future, but despite spending upwards of seven years living in Maryland, the youngster was born in Germany and has yet to finalize his US citizenship.
Here is a wonderful writeup on the complications that come with his attempt at US citizenship.
If you’re unfamiliar with the wonderfully talented Zelalem and his story, he was born in Germany and is of Ethiopian descent. He has played for Germany’s youth teams on multiple occasions, and has trained with the United States U-15 teams a number of times, but was unable to play in matches since he was only classified as a “permanent resident” and not a citizen. He now resides in London.
Zelalem signed a contract extension with Arsenal – his first professional contract – back in March of this year. He made his first and only senior appearance with the first-team in January when he played 19 minutes in an FA Cup win over Coventry City.