Zelalem cleared to represent United States

After being born in Germany to Ethiopian parents, Gedion Zelalem will represent the United States in international football.

Germany-born midfielder Gedion Zelalem has been cleared to represent United States in international football.

The Arsenal playmaker, 18, will join the Under-20 squad for the World Cup starting in May, after US Soccer confirmed Zelalem's defection had been approved.

"Pleased to report that Gedion Zelalem has been cleared by #FIFA to represent @ussoccer," US Soccer president Sunil Gulati tweeted on Wednesday.

Zelalem represented Germany at Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 level after being born in Berlin, despite immigrating to the US in 2006.

Also eligible to represent Ethiopia due to his heritage, Zelalem was named in the Under-20 squad to head to New Zealand - where the US will play the hosts, Ukraine and Myanmar in Group A.

Tab Ramos' men open their campaign against Myanmar on May 30 in Whangarei.