Folarin Balogun Completes One-Time Switch to Represent United States
Author: Deborah Ross / 2023-05-16 16:00:25In a significant development for the United States Men's National Team (USMNT), FIFA has officially approved Folarin Balogun's one-time switch to represent the US in international competition. The news was confirmed by FIFA to The Athletic's Tom Bogert, marking a major coup for American soccer.
Balogun, a 21-year-old striker born in Brooklyn, had previously been a part of England's youth international system. However, he decided to keep his options open and has now chosen to don the colors of the USMNT. Currently on loan at Reims from Arsenal, Balogun has been in sensational form this season, netting an impressive 19 goals in 34 games in Ligue 1, making him the fifth-highest scorer in the league.
The young talent's interest in representing the United States became apparent when he visited Orlando during the March international window, coinciding with the USMNT's training sessions for the Nations League matches against Grenada and El Salvador. Although he did not participate in the team's friendly match in Orlando, Balogun had the opportunity to spend time with the coaches and players, which seemingly played a crucial role in his decision-making process.
Balogun's choice to join the USMNT comes at a critical time as the team prepares for upcoming competitions. The United States is set to travel to Las Vegas for the Concacaf Nations League Finals, followed shortly by the highly anticipated 2023 Gold Cup. Given his exceptional performances this season, it is almost certain that Balogun will earn his first call-up to the USMNT squad and have an opportunity to make a significant impact in these tournaments.
With Balogun's arrival, the United States adds another promising talent to their growing pool of players, further strengthening their ambitions to compete at the highest level of international soccer. Fans eagerly await the striker's debut in the Stars and Stripes, hoping he will contribute to the team's success in the upcoming competitions and beyond.
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