- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem made his debut for the U.S. national team program, entering in the 59th minute of the Under-20 team’s 2-1 exhibition win at Australia on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents and lived in Maryland for six years before going to Arsenal’s youth academy when he was 16. He has made two appearances for the Gunners, in the FA Cup and Champions League.

Zelalem was cleared by FIFA last week to play for the U.S.

Stefan Mauk put the hosts ahead when he redirected Awer Mabil’s ball past goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 15th minute at Gosford.

Joel Sonora tied it with a 25-yard shot in the 60th minute off a pass from Tommy Thompson. Maki Tall scored the go-ahead goal 45 seconds later after taking a ball from a defender.

Thompson hit posts in each half.

The U.S. next plays Serbia in a closed-door exhibition, then opens the first round of the Under-20 World Cup against Myanmar on May 30. The Americans play host New Zealand on June 2 and finish the first round against Ukraine on June 5.



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