31915_isi-henleyadam_bpi_pg_080315_liverpool_v_blackburn_23.3073815 Paul Greenwood/isiphotos.com
U.S. Men's National Teams

Call-up News For Zelalem, Payne, Henley, Yarbrough

Will Gedion Zelalem play for Germany or the U.S.? Is Desevio Payne the real deal? Will Adam Henley play for Jurgen Klinsmann? ASN's Brian Sciaretta has all sorts of international roster updates for you.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
March 19, 2015
11:32 AM
A WAVE OF NEWS regarding dual-national soccer players has arrived on U.S shores. Here is a breakdown of the latest developments.

Gedion Zelalem

Last week Gedion Zelalem made news when U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said that the Arsenal product was ready to play for the full U.S. national team right now despite the fact that the 18-year-old has made just one first-team appearance for the North London club.

Zelalem is still not eligible for the U.S. national team despite acquiring American citizenship in December because he must acquire a waiver of FIFA’s regulation that he live in the United States for five years following his 18th birthday after securing his citizenship through naturalization. Zelalem is also eligible to play for his native Germany and his parents’ home nation, Ethiopia.

Yesterday, Zelalem was named to Germany’s U-18 team for upcoming March friendlies against France. Did he accept? It appears not since his name is no longer on the roster on the DFB website.

Zelalem turned down a German U-17 callup last year, too, and it would appear he has done so again to focus on his likely upcoming eligibility to play for the United States.

Desevio Payne

The United States U-20 national team will receive a potentially significant boost in the run–up to the World Cup in New Zealand as FC Groningen defender Desevio Payne will make his U.S. camp debut next week in London.

"Desevio Payne will be released for USA under-20 games in London from 23-30 of March," FC Groningen spokesman Bas Kammenga told American Soccer Now on Thursday.

Payne, 19, was born in South Carolina but raised in the Netherlands. Last month he made his Eredivisie debut and has made two appearances so far for Groningen. He has regularly made the first-team bench since November.

For Tab Ramos, he should be particularly useful with his ability to play across the backline.

Adam Henley

Born in Tennessee, Blackburn right back Adam Henley has played for the youth team of Wales and would need to file a one-time switch to play for the United States. At one point he was considering such a move and he would have been eligible for the United States Olympic team as it attempts to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games in October.

That option, however, no longer seems likely since Henley, 20, was called up by Wales’ first team for an important European qualifier against Israel next week. If he plays, he will be permanently tied to Wales.

William Yarbrough

Club Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough has had a solid career so far but has yet to make an impact on the international stage. Born in Mexico, Yarbrough has American eligibility through his parents who were both born in Texas.

Yarbrough will turn 26 on Friday and has already won two Liga Mx titles with Club Leon where he has earned positive reviews for his play.

Leon head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed that Yarbrough has been called up to the U.S. team by Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming games against Denmark and Switzerland. Last week, Klinsmann told reporters that he was interested in Yarbrough playing for the United States.

Mexico national team head coach Miguel Herrera told ESPN on Wednesday he was not going to get into a recruiting battle with Klinsmann for Yarbrough and wished the goalkeeper well. He also, however, kept the door open to calling up Yarbrough in the future.

"If they want to call him up at this time and right now he is not on my mind I have no problem with it,” Herrera said. “I'll repeat it: Right now in Mexico there are 10 quality goalkeepers and the ones I have already chosen will be very good."

"Of course [he will be considered for El Tri],” Herrera added. "At no time have I said he is a bad player. There is a reason the United States has its sights set on him. He is a good goalkeeper but I feel like I need to look at other players who I will likely be using and who are having a better moment right now in their careers."

Brian Sciaretta is an American Soccer Now columnist and an ASN 100 panelist. Follow him on Twitter.

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