SI Staff
Friday August 14th, 2015

Gedion Zelalem is starting his season with Arsenal's Under-21 side, and so far, so good.

Zelalem, the USA's 18-year-old midfield prospect, scored the game-winning goal for Arsenal against Fulham in the U-21 Gunners' season opener Friday, a 1-0 victory at Emirates Stadium in London.

Lining up against a pair of other young U.S. internationals–Fulham's Emerson Hyndman and Luca de la Torre–Zelalem opened his season account by finishing off a really well-worked team goal, completing a sequence that he started. After a series of intricate Arsenal passing, Zelalem was played into the box and finished with his right foot, reaching back and finding the lower right-hand corner of the net. Watch his goal below:

“It was a good game,” Zelalem told Arsenal's website. “We had a lot of possession which we expected and they sat back in the first half. We couldn’t get a through ball in the first half but in the second half we kept moving the ball, they got tired and eventually we got the goal.

"My goal came because I watch the first team a lot and they like to play quick one-twos on the edge of the box. Us youth-team players aspire to be like them so we try to play like them. It worked against Fulham and hopefully the fans enjoyed the goal."

Zelalem started and went the distance for Arsenal, whose U-21s return to action Friday against Derby County. 

Zelalem was cleared by FIFA to play internationally for the USA ahead of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in May, though that alone did not fully cap-tie him to the U.S. Zelalem was born in Germany to parents of Ethiopian descent and has previously been sought after by the German federation. 

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