Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun Opts to Play for United States Instead of England

Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun Opts to Play for United States Instead of England – Folarin Balogun, the talented forward from Arsenal, has made the decision to play for the United States at the senior level. FIFA has granted approval to a request made by US Soccer to change his national eligibility from England.

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Balogun, who has impressed while on loan at Reims in Ligue 1 this season, has previously represented England in under-21 matches. However, he now appears destined to join the US national team, who will be co-hosting the upcoming men’s World Cup in 2026. Balogun, a 21-year-old who has netted 19 goals in the prestigious French league this season, was born in Brooklyn but raised in London. 

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Through his parents, Balogun was also eligible to play international football for Nigeria. Balogun revealed the decision was a “no-brainer” after US Soccer had confirmed the switch. “My decision to represent the United States came together with my family,” he told the US Soccer website. “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,” he added. “I’m very proud and honoured to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.” Balogun’s choice to represent the United States comes just five weeks before England’s participation in the Under-21 European Championship, which will take place in Romania and Georgia.

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In Group C, Lee Carsley’s team will compete against Germany, Israel, and the Czech Republic. The decision is a significant achievement for US Soccer, as they successfully pursued Balogun during a visit to Florida in March. It is anticipated that he will be included in the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) roster for the Gold Cup, a tournament that the United States will host from June 24 to July 16 this summer.

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