- Balogun earns maiden USMNT call up
- USMNT won an allegiance battle with England
- Represented Young Lions up to the U21 level
WHAT HAPPENED? Brooklyn-born striker Folarin Balogun has been called up to the USMNT squad for the first time after FIFA approved the player's eligibility request to represent the United States in international football.
The 21-year-old spent the majority of his life in London, England, and represented England at the age-group levels, featuring for the England U21 side as recently as 2022.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: England manager Gareth Southgate asked Balogun to be patient and wait for opportunities with the Three Lions to come his way.
"Is he prepared to wait a little bit for an opportunity if he backs himself and feels he can push his way into our squad? Because anybody who has followed us will know that we will give young players a chance. So, we cannot go and give first-team call-ups to someone just because we don’t want them to go somewhere else," the England boss stated in March.
AND WHAT'S MORE: The youngster, who spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Reims in Ligue 1 from Arsenal, scored 20 goals in the league and was a consistent performer throughout the season.
England U21 boss Lee Carsley revealed that he would travel to France in order to persuade the striker to commit his future to England. However, everyone who attempted to convince Balogun to decide against choosing USMNT over England failed in their endeavours.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGettyGetty
WHAT NEXT? While Balogun's future at club level remains uncertain, he will be hoping to make an immediate impact with the USMNT as they hope to defend their CONCACAF Nations League title this month.