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Nothing but net for Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem
by Mike Woitalla, July 28th, 2014 12:56AM

TAGS:  arsenal, off the post, video


[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] In our latest addition of soccer players excelling at other sports -- following up on Monaco's Radamel Falcao in a batting cage and Roma's Miralem Pjanic kicking field goals -- we find Arsenal's he 17-year-old midfielder Gedion Zelalem getting hugged by Thierry Henry for his basketball prowess.

Zelalem, who was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents but raised in Maryland, started for Arsenal in its 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently said of Zelalem, who is reportedly seeking U.S. citizenship, "He is a player with a good eye and good technique and is very agile. He has the ambition to find the ball on the field. So he's the kind of player who could be of use to the United States. He's in some ways the type of player the U.S. was missing in the World Cup."

Zelalem also seems to know his way around a basketball court, as we see here when he stole the spotlight from Henry and Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey.

  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: July 28, 2014 at 7:19 a.m.
    basketball not baseball
  1. G O
    commented on: July 28, 2014 at 11:52 a.m.
    They're shouting "USA!" when he puts it through the hoop. I guess a very informed audience there trying to help young Gedion Zelalem decide to choose the USA for his nationality? Ugh. I don't know his background; I don't know him. I just hope we are not lickity split nationalizing peoples from other nations purely for the hope of gaining sporting successes. There are already over 325 million inhabitants of just the 50 states alone (more when we count the 7 territories). We have the talent pool. Good people can uncover what is already US citizens, whether age 17, age 12 or age 27. Back to the video: Good shot! Long range. Give that young fellow his deserved Three Points.
  1. Dustin Johnson
    commented on: July 29, 2014 at 9:33 a.m.
    G O Gedion Zelalem is more American than almost all the duel nationals in our current player pool. He moved to the United States when he was 14. His father lives here. He was discovered by an American scout playing a tournament in Dallas, and played High School soccer in Maryland. He sounds like a regular American kid who has spent the last 3 years in England. And his basketball skills clearly show some background in an American gym. If he does end up playing for the United States i would not call this background "lickity split nationalizing people."
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: July 29, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.
    Last time I checked, we "lickity split nationalize people" if they bring a bucket of money. Better we admit bright young people with talent.

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