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Folarin Balogun Chooses USA Over England

Federico Pestellini/Panoramic/Imago Images

Reims’ on-loan forward Folarin Balogun has settled his international future as reports surfacing on Tuesday said FIFA has approved the one-time switch for him to make the jump from England to play for the U.S. men’s national team.

The Athletic was the first to report the story that world soccer’s governing body gave their stamp of approval for the Arsenal man to join up with the red, white, and blue.

The news comes after months of speculation as to which country Balogun would represent at the international level. He was born in New York City but moved across the pond at a young age, which made him eligible to represent the Three Lions. Due to his parents coming from Nigeria he also had the option to represent the Super Eagles.

Things began to heat in the pursuit of the 21-year-old back in March when he pulled out of the England Under-21 team due to injury. This led to him heading to Florida where he met with the U.S. men’s national team coaching staff.

Balogun’s decision to represent the country of his birth now makes him available for the team when they face cross-border rivals Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal in June. He’ll also have a shot at being the No. 9 the team has so desperately needed as they prepare for the 2026 FIFA World Cup on North American soil.

The Arsenal Academy graduate has had a breakout season in France’s Ligue 1 as he’s scored 19 goals for Reims, putting them in 11th place in the standings. He will face some stiff competition to be America’s number one striker with the likes of Josh Sargent and Ricardo Pepi returning to form at their European clubs as well as Jesus Ferriera and Brandon Vazquez bagging goals domestically.

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