Gedion Zelalem cleared by FIFA to play for United States
CHICAGO -- Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has been cleared by FIFA to play for the United States and has been added to the roster for the Under-20 World Cup next month.
The U.S. Soccer Federation made the announcement on Wednesday. FIFA's decision also makes the 18-year-old eligible for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer and the under-23 team that will go to Olympic qualifying in October.
USSF president Sunil Gulati tweeted the good news shortly after.
Zelalem was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents and lived in Maryland for six years before going to Arsenal's youth academy when he was 16. He has appeared twice for the Gunners, both times as a second-half substitute -- against Coventry in an FA Cup game Jan. 24, 2014, and versus Galatasaray in the Champions League last Dec. 9.
Zelalem obtained U.S. citizenship in December, and the USSF applied to FIFA to make him eligible for its national team system.