The United States Men’s National Team have secured an incredible talent. Today, The Athletic’s Tom Bogert reports that FIFA has approved Folarin Balogun’s one-time switch to represent the United States in international competition.
BREAKING: FIFA has approved Folarin Balogun's one-time switch to represent the US national team, FIFA has confirmed to The Athletic.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) May 16, 2023
Balogun, 21, has 19 goals in 34 games on loan at Reims from Arsenal. He most recently was with England youth int'l set-up. pic.twitter.com/iEITZIIAea
The 21-year-old striker, born in Brooklyn, had come up in the English youth international system, but kept his options open to represent the USMNT. The Arsenal FC player, who is currently on loan with Reims, has 19 goals this season in Ligue 1, which is 5th among all scorers.
Balogun recently flirted with the USMNT, vacationing in Orlando during the March international window while the USMNT happened to be training there for Nations League matches against Grenada and El Salvador. While he did not stay for the team’s match in Orlando, he clearly got to know the team and coaches well enough to make his decision.
Balogun’s decision to represent the United States comes just weeks before the team heads to Las Vegas for the Concacaf Nations League Finals, which will then be followed in quick succession by the 2023 Gold Cup. Balogun almost certainly will earn his first USMNT call-up for one or both of those competitions.
Update: Folarin Balogun has announced his decision officially on his Twitter and Instagram accounts:
Hit the comments to discuss Flo as the newest member of the USMNT!