Gedion Zelalem: What Is His Potential Value to U.S. Soccer?

The 17-year-old Arsenal starlet reportedly secured U.S. citizenship last week, and is now eligible to play internationally for the Stars and Stripes. Is this a watershed moment for U.S. soccer or just another footnote? Graph your position below and then share your take. To read others' comments, hover over any shaded cell.

May 05, 2014 8:09 AM
Instant Game-Changer For U.S.
Just Another Prospect
It's done. He's a Yank He will never play for U.S.
it's huge... trim-spa baby!! — anna nicole
Yes, the world will know the wrath of Gedion soon enough. The USMNt's evil plan of world domination is at hand! — Skeletor
Wher's Gedion! Where's Gedion! — Batman
Most highly coveted US prospect since Rossi. — Bryan
Unlike Julian Green, Gedion has gotten some real minutes for Arsenal's first team... Not just a 2 minute appearance in stoppage time. Maybe he hasn't seen the first team pitch enough to know if he is an sure-fire prospect or not, but anyone who has seen him play would have to be blind not to say Zelalem has all the potential in the world to be an USMNT great or a great player wherever he goes — Jack
It's not done until he's capped. He's going to be good to great. Love his vision, ball handling and touch. Seems to have good speed and acquitted himself well vs Coventry when he played with Arsenal's first team. — Dr Duh
True playmaker, something that we have lacked in recent memory aside from Bradley. Also the lure of playing in the next World Cup for the US, when he most likely won't be given the opportunity to for Germany, is too much for him to turn down the stars and stripes — Matt
Technical skill and vision beyond his years, peers, and many of his seniors. With his physical growth and maturation under one of the worlds best talent developers in Wenger he will only get better. Loves the USA, sounds American, Klinsy will close him down. The more his club profile rises the more it will raise the profile with the USA. — Mitch
Germany still a front runner but has an outside chance for The US. If he does choose the Yanks, has a chance to be extremely special, world class talent — Jeff
Would be an instant game changer for US Soccer if he committed to the USMNT but I think Germany is where he ends up — Matt L.
it's a wrap. — Diegezzy
Really exciting prospect. — Noses Malone
Just the thought of Zelalem and Green together after afew years of experiance should send shivers down the spine of all other national teams. — Bob Bradley
While I like that he's keeping his options open He's far from a sure bet. In a German jersey he can win championships outside of the Gold Cup. That's a tough pull. That being said I think he ends up going with us since he spent his formative years here. As with all prospects this young you don't know what you'll get but I think he could be an international star the likes the US has never had at best. At worst, he is still a very good player, barring injury — Vinnie
2022 — greeb
I'm not sure what he will do, but it would be nice to have another young player with a ton of potential. — Ryan
Looks like he is trying to become a Yank but is not a done deal yet. The more potential stars US has the higher possiblity we will be great in the future. With Julian Green, Gedion Zelalem, John Brooks, and many more young potential stars we can be great in the future. — Ron
Recruiting genius, Klinsy, strikes again! — Ethan
He's going to be a great player. I rate him higher than Green. — Jeff
With all these young talented prospects for the USMNT it is likely that a few will turn into special players. Will he be special? I don't know, but someone will. — Erik
Slow your roll, everybody. We'll see. — Alex
The more top league experience that the US pool can gain the better. Still too early to tell the impact, but I think the next four years for The US will be huge for growth and chemistry. — Chot
Exciting a prospect as he is, everything is potential for now. Still, it's unlikely he ever suits up for the Stars and Stripes. — scootsy
That's not my name. — Turd Ferguson
He's a great prospect. First, let's let his citizenship go through and let him make his decision. Then, we need to see how he develops instead of accepting preconceived notions — Brad M.
Definitely potentially huge news. I wouldn't mind having the "next Fabregas" playing for the Stars and Stripes. But let's not count our chickens before they hatch. — Alex
He excites me far more than Julian Green — Jeremy Darnell
The signs are all there that he wants to play for US. Much like Julian Green, though, it is too early to know if he's a star or just a young player that won't develop. — john
Long way to go before we know anything. — Stoop
The US must build off of young talent. Zelalem has a shot to rise up. Let's see what he can do. Keep finding talent! — Jack Cleary
Exciting, but still has to prove himself at a high level — Jake Campbell
hes not "instant" game changer or just another prospect...lol....but 2018 roster is gonna be STACKED — usmnt
His ability is to be determined, but the kid has loads if potential — Justin
Let the golden age of American footie begin! — venicebeachbull
He'll play for Germany — Karim
Too early to tell. — coachris
The hype train has left the station! Let's see him play for a while. Anybody seen Freddy Adu lately? — Brian
Still so young and unproven. Can't even call this a "Julian Green" yet. Could be big, but time will tell. — Chas
Can't tell for a while... loads of potential. — BostonRed
He would improve our talent level but just as Julian Green must continue to do which is to improve and play at a high level. He's yet to commit so its NOT done but if it happens, he can provide the US with another solid technically skilled player with 10+ years in Red, White, and Blue. Here's to hoping he decides to play for the US. — Adrian
Just a nod to a future that may include Green, Zelalem, Fagundez, Gyau, Gil, and a ton of other young talent. Certainly the best stream of young players the USMNT have ever had. — footydoc
Great player but young — Katie
Way too early to say, but I like all the fresh, young talent coming through the ranks. I have a sinking feeling this WC is going to be rough, but the next one is going to be the first of the new generation and more successful, possibly with Gedion, Julian, and ArJo leading the way — Mark
Germany is it's own worst enemy right now as far as signing young talent. They have so much established talent that if you tell a kid he could either start with Germany some day or start for the US in a few short months, he's gonna pick the US. That being said, he's near as much a question mark as Julian Green on the "how good is he really?" scale. — Geo
we've played this game way too many times before with way too many young potentially good stars. lets wait and see — zack
Time will tell — Xose
No way to know how he'll turn out. But he'll be an american bust if he's a bust. Doesn't make sense to pursue citizenship if he isn't interested in playing for the US — Mike22
We're going to see more high level dual national prospects choose the US because of FFP — Hugh
Can't get too hopped up about prospects that none of us have even seen play, but all these recent dual-nationals committing to the US is only a good thing. — Dan
It's all about seeing if he can fulfill his potential, but still a very good thing — Joey
He'll never start for Arsenal...make a desperation move to start somewhere...and vanish. — T
We still have to see what he offers and if he can break into the 1st team. Also he needs to get and accept a call up so let's all just chill out until that happens. — Wesley
That's Chuba Akpom: did you just find a picture of a skinny black Arsenal player and assume it's Gedion Zelalem? LOL — NOT GEDION PICTURED
That is definitely not Chuba Akpom... — It is Gedion