51915_zelalem_isi_bpi_arsenal_monaco1bq_4755.2851975 Ben Queenborough/isiphotos.com
U-20 World Cup Prep

Americans Stand Tall as Zelalem Debuts for U-20s

Goals from Joel Sonora and Maki Tall gave the United States a 2-1 victory, but the real story was the first apperance of Arsenal starlet Gedion Zelalem in a red, white, and blue uniform.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 19, 2015
5:20 AM
ON A PLEASANT EVENING at Australia’s Central Coast Stadium, Joel Sonora dazzled and Gedion Zelalem made his American debut as the United States U-20 national team rallied with two second half goals in quick succession to defeat Australia in its first tune-up friendly ahead of the U-20 World Cup.

The U.S. had the first few opportunities of the game but it was the Socceroos that struck first in the 14th minute through a combination of two players that currently play for teams in Australia’s A-League. Melbourne City’s Stefan Mauk took a pass from Adelaide United’s Awer Mabil and fired a shot past Zach Steffen for a 1-0 lead.

Tab Ramos' men stepped up the pressure following the goal and San Jose's Tommy Thompson nearly found an equalizer in the 24th minute when his shot hit the post. In the 48th minute, it was Thompson again with another close chance when his header on a cross from Shaq Moore hit the post. In the 59th minute, Zelalem, the Arsenal prospect, made his long-anticipated American debut when he replaced Club Tijuana’s Paul Arriola.

Only a minute later the U.S. completely turned the game around when Boca Junior’s Sonora hit a curling 30-yard shot to equalize. Less than a minute later, Maki Tall took an interception and fired home a shot for a 2-1 lead. The U.S. controlled the game from there and cruised to a 2-1 win.

The Americans will next face Serbia on May 24 in its final friendly before its World Cup opener against Myanmar on May 30th.

Lineup: Steffen, Moore (Acosta 59), Carter-Vickers, Miazga, Payne (Requejo 74), Delgado, Soñora, Arriola (Zelalem 59), Hyndman, Thompson, Tall

Goal Aus: Mauk 14
Goal USA: Sonora 60
Goal USA : Tall 60

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