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Gedion Zelalem Called Up to United States U-23s

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The Sporting KC midfielder (sort of) returns to international duty.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City and former Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has gotten called up by the United States U-23 National Team. The call-up will be for a camp in Utah from June 9th through June 16th. There are no schedule games for the U-23s but they could play a closed door scrimmage or have intrasquad games.

Zelalem has prior experience in the United States Youth National Team setup for both the U-23s and U-20s.

“Zelalem gained experience with the U.S. U-23s at the 2015 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, starting twice as the Americans finished in third place. He later returned to the U-20 side for the 2016 Four Nations Tournament in England and the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea, but his involvement was cut short by a knee injury suffered in the first group stage match against Ecuador.”

Sporting KC acquired Zelalem back in March from English Premier League side Arsenal. He made his Kansas City debut later that month with the Swope Park Rangers alongside SKC teammates Kelyn Rowe, Gianluca Busio and Rodney Wallace.

Zelalem has spent most of his time in Kansas City with the second team but he has gotten on the field for SKC because of their rash of injuries. Zelalem has three appearances (one start) for 82 minutes in MLS. At Swope, Zelalem also has just three appearances but they were all starts and he’s accumulated 239 minutes. He has yet to score a goal for the first or second team in his limited appearances.

With the Sporting KC injury report down to just five players and the FIFA break already underway (snagging four more SKC players), Zelalem was on the bench versus Toronto FC and he started for the Swope Park Rangers back in Kansas City on Saturday against the Charlotte Independence.

His absence would leave him unavailable for the US Open Cup game against Minnesota United on June 12th and he would return in time to miss no further action for SKC.

U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Roster by Position (Club; Hometown)

GOALKEEPERS (3): JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.), Andrew Thomas (Stanford University; London, England), Justin Vom Steeg (LA Galaxy; Santa Barbara, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (6): Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers; Gresham, Ore.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Jack Maher (Indiana University; Caseyville, Ill.), Sam Rogers (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Media, Pa.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford, N.J.), George Acosta (Unattached; Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal CF B; Minneapolis, Minn.), Cameron Lindley (Memphis 901 FC; Carmel, Ind.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; Alexandria, Va.), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.), Gedion Zelalem (Sporting Kansas City; Berlin, Germany)

FORWARDS (4): Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), Alfonso Ocampo Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC; Kent, Wash.), Giovanni Reyna (Unattached; Bedford, N.Y.)