Gedion Zelalem could be the next great American soccer player, if he chooses to play for the US Men’s National Team that is.
Zelalem made his first team debut for Arsenal yesterday in their 4-0 victory over Coventry City in the FA Cup. He made his first-team debut in the 70th minute and helped set up Santi Carzola‘s goal in the 89th minute. While on the field, Zelalem dazed and danced around defenders, making spot-on passes and showing that he could one day be a leader for a top-flight club like Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger commented on Zelalem’s performance after the game with nothing but positive remarks. “It was a good opportunity to give him a chance to play and he showed when he came on that he is not scared, not fazed by the occasion. He wants the ball and you feel there is some vision and personality behind his pass.”
US National Team fans have a reasons to be excited about the potential of Zelalem playing for the Red, White and Blue one day.
For starters, Arsenal is owned by Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke, giving Zelalem motive to want to be in a system that his current club is owned by. One other positive is that Zelalem played soccer in the U.S. from the ages nine to 16, making him use to playing in the U.S. and already scouted by Jurgen Klinsmann.
Finding a talented, young midfielder is incredibly hard. Finding one that is American is even harder. If the U.S. is able to land the services of Zelalem, it would completely redefine the U.S. midfield and the style of play that fans currently know.