By RYAN TOLMICH
When the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National team roster came out last week, 20 of a possible 21 names were listed amongst the squad. That 21st name has now officially been added.
U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that Gedion Zelalem has been ruled eligible by FIFA and has officially been added as the 21st member of the squad for the upcoming U-20 World Cup.
Zelalem had originally applied for clearance to represent the U.S. earlier this year, but required a response from FIFA before officially being eligible. That response came Wednesday, allowing the Arsenal midfielder to be added to the squad before the official deadline of May 15.
The 18-year-old playmaker has made two career appearances for the Arsenal senior team, appearing in one FA Cup match and one Champions League group stage contest.
It wasn’t all good news for the U.S. Under-20 World Cup roster. Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was not released by Norwegian side Molde, forcing Tab Ramos to call in University of San Diego’s Thomas Olsen as his third goalkeeper.
The U.S. U-20s will depart for Australia on May 14 ahead of the U-20 World Cup, which will be contested in New Zealand May 30-June 20.
Take a closer look at the now complete roster below:
GOALKEEPERS: Jeff Caldwell (University of Virginia; Todd, N.C.), Thomas Olsen (University of San Diego; Las Vegas, Nev.), Zack Steffen (Freiburg; Downingtown, Pa.)
DEFENDERS: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Valencia Huracan; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Desevio Payne (FC Groningen; Greenwood, S.C.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Joel Soñora (Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina), Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal; Montgomery County, Md.)
FORWARDS: Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake; Rochester, N.Y.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Maki Tall (Red Star; Washington, D.C.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)
What do you expect from Zelalem at the upcoming World Cup? Think this U.S. team can make deep tournament run?
Share your thoughts below.