Gedion Zelalem went the full 90 minutes and was involved with Arsenal U-18’s first goal in their 3-2 loss to Crewe Alexandra in the FA Youth Cup earlier this week. Zelalem was able to get his foot on a cross which the goalie was able to save, but Zelalem’s teammate rebounded the loose ball for the goal. Here are some highlights with the goal mentioned in the previous sentence at the 1:35 mark.
We posted yesterday in the US-Chile pre-game primer about how Gedion Zelalem is currently ineligible to play for the US, but Grant Wahl/Sunil Gulati are making it sound like the FIFA exception will go through and he will be eligible later this spring.
Also in the link above, Wahl is hearing that US U-20 center back Cameron Carter-Vickers could be training with Tottenham’s first team in the coming weeks.
One player at this month’s camp that you probably don’t know that much about is Julio Morales. Brian Sciaretta gets you caught up to date on Mr. Morales. It looks like Morales might not be able to play in the friendlies just yet (although he can still participate in the camp) as he has to file a one-time switch with FIFA since he played with Mexico at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.
Much like Brad Friedel with the U-20 team, another former player, Carlos Bocanegra, is helping out as a coach this month.
Kyle McCarthy takes a look at the mixture of vets and youth as camp begins.
In other USMNT news, CONCACAF has moved up the start of the final round of World Cup qualifying (a.k.a. The Hex) by three months to November of 2016 due to FIFA eliminating some international fixture dates in 2017. The draw for the first round will take place on Thursday, but the US won’t enter qualification until the fourth round, beginning in November of 2015. Yes, the whole cycle is about to start up again.
And we might know about two more friendlies for this year as Fox Sports ran this graphic during Friday’s U-20 game, which shows games against Australia and Ghana for later this year.
Speaking of Mr. Zelalem, the guys over at The Short Fuse have a little write- up on the savoir of American soccer Arsenal prospect.
Moving onto some club news.
All signs are pointingtowards Mix Diskerud signing with NYCFC later today (or this week).
There was some more Jozy Altidore-to-MLS chatter over the weekend and Toronto FC appears to have the edge at the moment. If this were to go down, I am just going to pretend that this was some mastermind of Klinsi to get Michael Bradley and Jozy practicing together everyday.
Heath Pearce didn’t come to terms with Orlando City after being taken in the expansion draft, so he might be looking to take his talents to Europe. Pearce began his professional career in Denmark with FC Nordsjælland and also played with Hansa Rostock in Germany so he does have experience abroad.
I can’t find much more on this, but Frank Simek’s wikipedia page has been updated that he is now with Sông Lam Nghệ An in Vietnam. As one would expect, it is not easy to find solid information on this team or league.
New York appears to be the place to be at the moment.
A day after we had Mix Diskerud-to-NYCFC rumors, Taylor Twellman tells us that Jozy Altidore is talking to a few MLS teams, including New York Red Bulls. Less than an hour later, Ives Galarcep told the world that the Red Bulls are also closing in on Sacha Kljestan.
Those of you waiting to buy a DeAndre Yedlin/Tottenham jersey can now go ahead with that purchase as he is wearing #12. Here is also a quick video of him scoring in his first training with Spurs.
“I was all over CONCACAF looking for guys,’’ Karbassiyoon said Monday. “And every single trip I went on was a plane ride, and if it was a drive, it was several hours away in another market. But with Gedion, maybe two or three months after I originally met him, his dad had me over. I knew I was close but that area is confusing, and I’m navigationally challenged, so I looked up the house and it said estimated time three minutes. I said that really is close. It was pretty hilarious.”
Fresh off his loan extension with Charlton Athletic, Oguchi Onyewu got injured while warming up and did not play yesterday while it was announced that he was going to start in Charlton’s 3-0 loss to Ipswich Town.
The German-born midfielder, who played six years of youth soccer in the D.C. area before signing with Arsenal in 2013, was in Washington on Monday to finalize the naturalization process, clearing the way to represent the United States in international competition, the Insider has learned.
Zelalem, 17, must now await FIFA approval, but that is believed to be a perfunctory exercise. Although he will remain eligible for Germany and Ethiopia (his family’s homeland), Zelalem has told friends and American officials that he plans to commit to the U.S. program, multiple sources said. The fact he flew to Washington from London during Arsenal’s normal weekly training routine further revealed his intentions.
Zelalem visited the Passport Agency on 19th Street Northwest, three blocks from the White House, and was recognized by at least two bystanders.
Affiliated with a prominent Premier League club, Zelalem will immediately become one of the top young prospects in the U.S. build-up to the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup. The first realistic opportunity for Jurgen Klinsmann to summon him to the senior national team is in late March, the next official period on the FIFA match calendar, when the Americans play friendlies at Denmark and Switzerland.
Zelalem, a thinly built central midfielder with expert vision and ball skills, has played for Germany’s youth national teams but apparently never in official FIFA competition.
Zelalem is eligible for a U.S. passport through the Child Citizenship Act, a federal law that allows offspring of naturalized parents to also become citizens. Zelalem’s father, Zelalem Woldyes, was naturalized this year. The law applies to children under 18 only; Zelalem turns 18 on Jan. 26 — an approaching deadline that had raised anxiety among U.S. supporters and officials.
As for Zelalem and his potential U.S. national team future, he has not yet publicly committed to the American program. In fact, he and his family have yet to confirm he is even eligible. However, he was on a pathway to a passport, and according to those close to him, he prefers to play for the United States rather than Germany, which he has represented on the youth level.
Zelalem lived in the Washington area for many years, attended public schools in Montgomery County, Md., played one season for Walter Johnson High School and honed his game with the Bethesda-Olney Soccer Club.
Said one source: “It’s going well” with the citizenship process and there could be “some news in short time.”
Haven’t done some links in a while, but here are a bunch of random stuff from recently or two weeks ago (or sometime in the last little bit). Hopefully my workload will ease up after this week and I could do these more often again.
The USMNT will have a second friendly next month in Europe as they will take on Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.
The latest FIFA rankings came out earlier this week and the US dropped six places to No. 23. They are still the third-highest ranked team in CONCACAF as Costa Rica comes in at No. 16 and Mexico at No. 17.
Mix Diskerud had to be subbed out after 36 minutes in last weekend’s game due to an injury, but he just missed a couple practices this week and returned to training yesterday. Sounds like a good chance he plays on Sunday.
Also in the injury department, Aron Johannsson is expected to dress with AZ Alkmaar this weekend. Johannsson played with AZ’s reserves earlier this week and will get a chance to play in his first game with the senior team against Groningen on Saturday.
While we are learning about some new dual-national players, Tom Marshall introduces us to Leones Negros midfielder Jesus Vazquez.
Aleks Gogic signed with Reading last year, but it looks like the 18-year-old goalkeeper must be on loan with Southern League Premier Division (seventh tier!) side Slough Town F.C. as he played in a game with them last Saturday.
The roster for next week’s friendlies should probably be released this weekend and various people online are making guesses at that roster, including Jon Arnold and Matthew Doyle.
Steven Goff gives us some more information about the next two weeks regarding US Soccer. Sounds like all the names will be released at once, but guys might only go to one of the games due to MLS’s schedule next week. Some of the young guns (Emerson Hyndman, Cody Cropper and Rubio Rubin) could be headed to Brazil with the US U-23 team instead of the senior team friendlies. And US Soccer is trying to schedule another friendly next month in Europe during the international week when they play at Ireland.
One player who could potentially be on the US roster next week is Miguel Ibarra and Brian Sciaretta caught up with the Minnesota United midfielder about the rumors.
Gedion Zelalem scored a nice little goal for Arsenal’s U-19 team against Galatasaray yesterday in the UEFA Youth League. The guys over at The Short Fuse also looked into the curious case of his citizenship.
Brian McBride is one of five people selected by Fulham chairman Shahid Khan to help in Fulham’s search for a new manager.
And finally, we have a Devann Yao sighting! He was last seen parting ways with UR La Louvière Centre in Belgium’s third division and now he has popped up on Neustrelitz in the German Regionalliga. He has made one appearance for the club so far in 2014-15.