The wait is over. According to US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, prized Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem has received a waiver from FIFA and is eligible to play immediately for the United States men's national team. While everyone involved in the process, and everyone not involved in the process too, I suppose, thought this was a formality, it is always encouraging when official word comes in.
"When will he suit up in the red, white, and blue?" you might ask. Well, according to the Washington Post's resident Zelalem expert, Steven Goff, he has already been added to the United States U-20 World Cup roster which begins May 30. Goff further stated Zelalem has received clearance from Arsenal to participate in the competition, which is being held in New Zealand this summer. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of our young midfielder posing in Middle Earth.
Zelalem's development seemed to stifle a bit this season with the Arsenal U-21s, though that seemed to be a problem endemic to the entire side. The American side is stocked with talent, but a spot was saved for Zelalem all along, indicating he is a key part of coach Tab Ramos' summer plans. It will be interesting to see how he fits in the United States' U-20 setup playing with new and unfamiliar faces. There's no question that this is a positive step forward for a prospect the club rates very highly.