Arsenal prospect Zelalem called-up by Germany for U-17 Euro qualifyingMarch 12, 2014 • By Dan Itel
By DAN ITEL
Gedion Zelalem’s international fate may be sealed, and it’s not very good news for those hoping it would be with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The Arsenal phenom who was born in Berlin, is of Ethiopian descent, and also used to live in the United States, has been named to Germany’s U-17 squad for UEFA Euro qualifying. Were he to appear for Germany, he wouldn’t be able to switch allegiances to the U.S., as only dual citizens are allowed to make a one-time change before appearing at the senior level.
Zelalem, 17, spent his formative years growing up in the Washington D.C. suburbs, starring at Walter Johnson High School, where he was identified by Arsenal. He has previously played for Germany’s U-16 team and trained with the U.S. U-15s, but he is not an American citizen.
Some USMNT fans have even taken a petition to the website Change.org to petition President Obama to fast track Zelalem’s citizenship. He made his first-team debut with Arsenal this winter in a FA Cup match against Coventry City.
What do you think of Zelalem’s latest Germany call-up? Do you expect him to play in the qualifying matches?
Share your thoughts below.