Daily news roundups

Gedion Zelalem gets US citizenship, Union bits, more news

Best belated Christmas gift to US Soccer supporters? This from Steven Goff at the Washington Post:

Gedion Zelalem is a U.S. citizen.

The German-born midfielder, who played six years of youth soccer in the D.C. area before signing with Arsenal in 2013, was in Washington on Monday to finalize the naturalization process, clearing the way to represent the United States in international competition, the Insider has learned.

Zelalem, 17, must now await FIFA approval, but that is believed to be a perfunctory exercise. Although he will remain eligible for Germany and Ethiopia (his family’s homeland), Zelalem has told friends and American officials that he plans to commit to the U.S. program, multiple sources said. The fact he flew to Washington from London during Arsenal’s normal weekly training routine further revealed his intentions.

Tralalalala-lalalalah! (And so close after this.)

In case you’re wondering, according to Grant Wahl (who has confirmed Goff’s report), “The earliest Gedion Zelalem could be cap-tied to the U.S. would be this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.” However, Brian Sciaretta believes time with the US U-20s would be a good opportunity with which to start.

Philadelphia Union

Rais Mbolhi features in a review post at the Guardian called “Top 10 World Cup stars from 2014: What happened next?” The review says,

Yet another goalkeeper who enjoyed a strong World Cup, the widely travelled Algerian left CSKA Sofia in July to join Philadelphia Union. That was the latest step in a peripatetic career that has seen him play for clubs in Scotland, Japan, Russia, France, Bulgaria and now the United States. His debut for his latest club was delayed for a couple of months after he was involved in a car crash in France. He was handed the No92 shirt and has since made an inauspicious start to his career in the US, with his four appearances being most notable for a costly mistake against Chicago Fire that gifted a goal to another well-travelled professional, the former Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City and Wales striker, Robert Earnshaw.

Speaking of Mbolhi, a post at Short Corners looking ahead to 2015 says, “Look for Philadelphia to buy out the contract of Rais Mbolhi.”

Brotherly Game has season reviews for the Union goalkeepers and Sheanon Williams.

Playing for 90 reviews the Union’s 2014 season.

Local

13-year-old South Philadelphia midfielder Mo’ne Davis has been named the 2014 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Davis also plays baseball and basketball.

MLS

Seattle has signed English defender Tyrone Mears, who most recently played for Bolton Wanderers.

Omar Salgado, who was the No. 1 pick of the 2011 SuperDraft, has signed with Tigres in Mexico. You will recall when Salgado was traded by Vancouver to NYCFC earlier in December, NYCFC said it had “a deal in principle with an international club for the transfer of the player.”

Is Carlos Salcedo leaving Real Salt Lake for Chivas de Guadalajara, as the defender himself tweeted? RSL technical director Craig Waibel says, “There is nothing close to being finalized. All the articles are written by journalists [abroad] that are probably being told one version of the story.”

The Miami Herald on how bad past experience with publicly funded stadiums led citizens to fail to embrace David Beckham’s plans for a MLS franchise in Miami. Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan Zapata says Beckham should make Florida International University its temporary home in order to establish the team as a reality in the mind of taxpayers and then work on securing a permanent home in its own stadium.

US

Norwegian club Rosenborg have confirmed that Mix Diskerud is leaving the club (crappy Google translation here).

Tim Howard is out four to six weeks with a torn calf muscle suffered in Everton’s loss last week to Stoke.

Oguchi Onyewu’s short-tem contract with Championship side Charlton Athletic has been extended through the end of the season. Charlton are currently 11th in the league.

At ProSoccerTalk, a review of US players in England and, with January’s transfer window about to open, who might be in need of a move.

The Guardian has ten memorable US national teams moments from 2014.

At SBI, the top five USMNT goals, and the top five USWNT matches, of 2014.

Elsewhere

The Press Association reports, “Barcelona will not be allowed to sign any players in 2015 after their appeal against their transfer ban was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Spanish club turned to Cas in August after FIFA rejected their appeal to overturn a two-window ban, which was handed to them by world football’s governing body in April due to concerns over the ‘international transfer of minors.'” Barcelona said in a statement that it, like, “totally disagrees” with the verdict. Barcelona may or may not have, like, totally unfriended CAS on Facebook.

The Dec. 24 deadline has passed with no candidates emerging and so Michel Platini will have a third term as UEFA president, the second in a row in which he has been unopposed.

At the Guardian, Part One (“three at the back is back in fashion”) and Part Two (“tiki-taka’s exile and counter-counters”) of Jonathan Wilson’s tactical review for 2014.

These Football Times on the 1930 World Cup.

3 Comments

  1. “Barcelona said in a statement that it, like, ‘totally disagrees’ with the verdict. Barcelona may or may not have, like, totally unfriended CAS on Facebook.”
    .
    Thank you, Ed, for the good chuckle.
    .
    Happy New Year to all the staff and readers! Thank you, all, for making this such an awesome place – from the great articles right down to the thoughtful, funny, and heartfelt comments.

    • Agree with this sentiment. Have to give a special nod to Ed for putting together these great links, makes the site a daily must-stop. We have a bad team and an awesome website that covers them. I’d rather that be the reverse, but will take what I can get. Thanks PSP.

  2. Had I known Michel Platini was running unopposed I would have at least stumped around europe for a month.
    .
    “When I was a kid growing up and playing with my friends, I always chose to be Platini, my friends could fight among the other great players.” -Zidane.
    .
    The Zalelem citizenship is good news indeed. Jurgen is finding himself with some young raw and potentially ‘fringe-world class’ players to mold a team- the term world class not being used lightly.
    .
    Maybe a dynamic duo of Pulisic and Zalelem in the not too distant future bringing their big club european pedigrees along for the ride.

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