World Football

Folarin Balogun opts to play for USA instead of England

Rajarshi Shukla

May 16 2023
Folarin Balogun

The youngster will represent USMNT in international football

Folarin Balogun, a standout for Arsenal, has finally made up his mind to play for the USA and swap allegiances from England.

Though Folarin Balogun took his time, the choice was already decided. He will represent the USA, not England. soon, officially.

FIFA has granted Folarin Balogun’s plea for eligibility, giving the impression that the United States had defeated England in the struggle for global loyalty.

While on loan at Ligue 1 club Reims this season, the 21-year-old striker, who was born in New York but relocated to London when he was two, has been drawing attention.

After an outstanding campaign in France while on loan from Arsenal to Reims, Balogun has been in high demand.

He has scored 19 goals and has been battling Kylian Mbappe for the league’s lead in goals for much of the campaign. Mbappe is currently ahead with 26 goals.

Though he is still under contract to Premier League powerhouse Arsenal, questions about his future at the club level are being raised, but when it comes to his nation, he has had to make more difficult choices.

With FIFA announcing on Tuesday that a request by the U.S. Soccer Federation to convert the young forward’s national status from England to America was finally approved, Balogun seems to be pinning his colours to the USMNT flag.

Balogun, a Nigerian-born Brooklyn native who plays for England at the U-21 level, previously stated that he would choose between the following countries to represent: “My parents were on holiday there for a few months because we have family in New York. But very soon after I was born, we all moved back to London. London is my city, it’s where I grew up, where my friends are, and if people ask me where I’m from, I say I’m English. But, yes, I am a mixture of all these cultures.”

According to FIFA regulations, players are free to change their national eligibility at any time before a competitive senior game. Balogun is now available to the USMNT, and it’s probable that they may use him in their CONCACAF Gold Cup preparations this summer.

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