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Ex-Arsenal trainee Zakuani keen to represent USA

Arsenal youth academy product Steve Zakuani says he would love to represent the USA national team.

The Seattle Sounders winger, who is also eligible to play for England, was born in Zaire in 1988 and has appeared once for the Democratic Republic of Congo but told the Official Arsenal Magazine he would prefer the US.

"It was a friendly against Mali and was a lot of fun but it doesn't tie me to the Congo national team," he said.

"I'm eligible for England too, even though that looks to be more than a long shot at the moment. And in a few years I'll be able to play for the USA. Of the three, I prefer the States, as this is where I made my name as a player, but we'll see how things turn out."

And even though he wants to play for the US, Zakuani certainly considers England his home after growing up in London from the age of four.

"I left the Congo at the age of four and have never been back, so I consider England my home. All the life experiences that molded my thinking and personality took place in London," he added.

"The short version of the story is that my dad found work in England and moved the family to Stonebridge in north-west London in 1992. There was a lot of unrest in the Congo and the family was glad of the opportunity to improve our lives.

"I only spoke French at the time so it was hard for me to fit in at school, but once the other kids saw I played football better than they did, I earned their respect."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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