MLS All-Star Game

Zelalem headlines final Arsenal roster heading into MLS All-Star Game

Gedion Zelalem Arsenal 21

Arsenal has released the club’s final roster for their upcoming U.S. trip, and one of American soccer’s brightest prospects will likely take the field when the Gunners face-off with the MLS All-Stars.

Gedion Zelalem was named to Arsenal’s final roster on Monday afternoon. The squad, which also includes Petr Cech, Theo Walcott, Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere, will take on the MLS All-Stars on Thursday at Avaya Stadium before facing Chivas de Guadalajara three days later at the StubHub Center.

The trip isn’t Zelalem’s first Arsenal pre-season journey with the Gunners, and isn’t even the 19-year-old’s first excursion back to the States. Zelalem was a part of Arsenal’s traveling roster in 2014 and played 45 minutes against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.

Last season, the 19-year-old playmaker featured on loan for Rangers, and made 28 appearances for the Scottish club in the country’s second division. Internationally, Zelalem has featured for both the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team and U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team since announcing his commitment to U.S. Soccer in May 2015.

Here’s a closer look at the full Arsenal roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Petr Cech, David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez

DEFENDERS:Hector Bellerin, Krystian Bielik, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Rob Holding, Nacho Monreal

MIDFIELDERS: Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chris Willock, Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka, Gedion Zelalem

FORWARDS: Chuba Akpom, Joel Campbell, Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott

What do you think of the roster? Which player are you most excited to see take on the MLS All-Stars?

Share your thoughts below.

  • TheFrenchOne

    “Zelalem headlines final Arsenal roster…” Talk about a misleading title. I think that word is typically reserved for, you know, the stars of the squad or, at the very least, starters. So “Features in” or “Included in” would be more accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Gary Page

    Yeah, a misleading title. Not exactly Arsenal’s best squad as they are missing their two best strikers. Still miles better than any MLS side, so it should be an interesting game.

    Liked by 1 person

  • MarthaC

    I’m totally sure Arsenal didn’t add him to appease American fans and sell jerseys…


    • ekovalkoski

      I think it’s more of a favor to Gideon than the jersey side.

      Most clubs make less than 10% of the overall total jerseys sold at a certain threshold, pretty sure Gideon is not moving that needle being a less than bit-part player.


    • johnnyrazorI

      Do you really think there is a big call for Zelalem jerseys among the US fan base?


      • Hunky Dory

        Pretty sure there’s a big call for them at the Klinsmann household down in the O.C!


  • johnnyrazorI

    Look at the rosters of all the European “Champions” they are full of youth team players in part because of the summer tournaments and because they generally want to see their youth players play in matches and it showcases them for possible loans or transfers. Zelalem would be on this roster if it was a tour of the former Soviet Republics.


    • ronniet

      good observation and it makes a lot of sense considering, as you stated, the number of players that played in tournaments this summer and didn’t have a true break from football. It seems highly unlikely Gedion will be apart of Arsenals first team plans again this year so I’m hopeful he can get a loan to a lower BPL team but the more likely scenario would be a loan to a Championship team where first team minutes are easier to come by.


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