The First Real American Star?
By Johnathan Neumann
Before I get into the meat of this. This is in no way a knock on Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Brian McBride and the like. They have all been extremely influential in the development of this wonderful game in the States. Also, not a knock on the wealth of outstanding keepers this country has produced.
I want to focus on outfield players for this as the United States have yet to produce a real, bona fide star. Gedion Zelalem has the chance to be that guy if he chooses to. Those last four words being key here.
This kid is just oozing with talent. As he showed with his first senior appearance in the FA Cup. There is a slight problem for all USMNT fans though. He isn't actually an American citizen yet. That isn't exactly a big hurdle though as all that needs to take place is his father filing for citizenship. It's all pretty much up to this 17-year-old wonderkid who has been labeled as the next Cesc Fabregas.
Like previously mentioned he is just 17, so he doesn't have to make this decision right away. That has not stopped Jurgen Klinsmann from recruiting the youngster though. He spent ages 9-through-16 in the States, and there has even been a report that he claims himself to be American. That could be the most important thing of all when all of this comes to a conclusion. There are, of course, some hang-ups in the deal. If he were to become an American citizen, he would lose his EU Nationality. Which could create an unprecedented for his club Arsenal.
This is all just speculative at this point. There is a long way to go before this plays out one way or the other. He is also eligible for Ethiopia, but it's pretty safe to say he'll be plying his trade for either Germany or the United States. No disrespect intended. USMNT fans, can you imagine the likes of Zelalem and Julian Green fueling the next generation of American soccer? I have, and I'm excited at just the possibility.