U.S.A. Soccer focusing on Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun was born in the United States, but grew up in England. His parents are from...
Folarin Balogun was born in the United States, but grew up in England. His parents are from Nigeria. Balogun can play for England, Nigeria, or USMNT in future soccer competitions.(U.S. Soccer)
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The United States Men’s National Team can select players that were born in the country, make their residence in the U.S.A., or have relatives that hail from here.

One such player that would fill those guidelines is Folarin Balogun. The 21-year old striker was born in New York.

But after birth, his Nigerian parents moved the soccer prodigy to England. So Balogun is also eligible to play for Nigeria or the England national team at the senior level.

I use the word senior, which is the squad that fights for FIFA World Cup titles, because Balogun has played for England and U.S. on the junior level.

He grabbed England caps across four age groups from the under-17s to under-21s and also four for USMNT under-18s. In the grand scheme of things that doesn’t matter, he hasn’t played a senior match in a competition for either.

So why is there such a big hullabaloo over Balogun. Well, he’s a scoring machine for Ligue 1, Reims. He’s scored 18 goals for the French side this season. That’s only one behind soccer superstar, Kylian Mbappe, and his 19 goals for PSG.

Also, the USMNT is hungry for goal-scorers. Balogun, as you can read, can do that with regularity.

England possesses a ton of options up front that include Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and Bukayo Saka. U.S. doesn’t have that star power at that position.

It appears everything would point to USMNT with Balogun. But, England is still England, they’re a soccer superpower. Plus, Balogun’s club is Arsenal in England. He’s on loan with Reims for the season.

When will a decision come, who knows, but it’s no doubt something to keep a very close eye on in the coming months. Especially with the U.S. hungry for World Cup glory come 2026.

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