Folarin Balogun Joins USMNT over England 

Folarin Balogun
Photo Credit: Getty Images/ CBS Sports

In recent news, Stade de Reims striker Folarin Balogun has decided to exercise FIFA’s one-time change policy to represent internationally for the USA despite having eligibility for England and Nigeria. The 21-year-old was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to England and played for their youth sides from U16 to U21. 

“My decision to represent the United States came together with my family. In the end, it became a no-brainer, but for sure it’s just something I wanted to do and it feels like I’m at home here. To represent the United States means a lot, more than people would know. I’m very proud and honored to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.” added Balogun.

Balogun sticking to his roots is brilliant news for USMNT head coach Anthony Hudson and the team. He has been one of the best players in Ligue 1 this season.

Clinical Goalscorer

The Arsenal Academy product registered 19 goals in 34 appearances this campaign. At some point in the season, he was the Ligue 1 leading scorer over the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi. Also worth mentioning is that Stade de Reims is a mid-table club with few outstanding playmaking talents – a testament to Folarin Balogun’s goalscoring ability. 

Folarin Balogun will fill perfectly in a lackluster USMNT attacking line. Of all the American center forwards playing in Europe at the moment, he boasts the best goal totals over Haji Wright (15 goals/25 games for Antalyaspor), Josh Sargent (13 goals/40 games for Norwich City), and Ricardo Pepi (12 goals/ 26 games for Groningen). Daryl Dike (West Brom) and Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin) have yet to crack double-digit goal tallies. 

Anthony Hudson would appreciate the qualities this rising star adds to his attack. The combination of Christian Pulisic on the left, Timothy Weah on the right, and Folarin Balogun up front could be quite lethal. 

When will Folarin Balogun make his USMNT Debut?

Folarin Balogun will join the CONCACAF Nations League Final Four squad from June 15-18 in Las Vegas if nothing changes. The first chance for “Flo” to debut will be against Mexico. 

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