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Gedion Zelalem makes U.S. debut in under-20 friendly

Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem made his debut for the U.S. national team program on Tuesday, entering in the 59th minute of the Under-20 team's 2-1 win in a friendly at Australia.

The 18-year-old was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents and lived in Maryland for six years before going to Arsenal's youth academy when he was 16. He has made two appearances for the Gunners, one each in the FA Cup and Champions League.

FIFA cleared Zelalem to play for the U.S. last week.

Stefan Mauk put the hosts ahead when he redirected Awer Mabil's ball past goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 15th minute at Gosford.

Joel Sonora tied it with a 25-yard shot in the 60th minute off a pass from Tommy Thompson. Maki Tall scored the go-ahead goal 45 seconds later after taking a ball from a defender.

Thompson hit posts in each half.

The U.S. next plays Serbia in a closed-door friendly, then opens the first round of the Under-20 World Cup against Myanmar on May 30. The Americans play host New Zealand on June 2 and finish the first round against Ukraine on June 5.

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