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Why does Musah play for USMNT instead of England? Valencia teenager explains international allegiance

10:22 GMT 11/11/2022
Yunus Musah United States 2021
Yunus Musah spent time in Arsenal’s academy system and represented England at youth level, but he is now a senior international with the USMNT.
  • Hot prospect catching the eye in Spain
  • Spent time in Arsenal's academy system
  • Set to face Three Lions at 2022 World Cup

WHAT HAPPENED? The 19-year-old’s potential has always been clear for all to see, making his La Liga debut made for current employers Valencia at just 17 years of age. He was approached by United States coach Gregg Berhalter shortly after that, with the New York native opting to pledge allegiance at that stage to the country of his birth.

WHAT THEY SAID: Explaining why he could be lining up against England at the 2022 World Cup, instead of turning out for the Three Lions, Musah has told BBC Sport: “I had a great time at England. It came to a point where I was playing in the first team here and I was playing U19s when I went on international. The Gregg called me from the national team and told me about the project with the US. He told me how much he wanted me in the team, and I was only 17 at the time. Things happen in mysterious ways. I was born in the US for a reason and now I’m playing for the national team and loving it.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The USA are due to face England in Qatar on November 25, with Musah adding on that eagerly-anticipated contest: “What a special game that will be. Having lived in England, knowing how England are, just to share the field with them and knowing that the whole of England is going to be watching that game – as well as in the US – what a big game that will be for me. It will be a special moment and I hope it goes well. To play against England at the World Cup, on the biggest stage, that will be crazy!”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MUSAH? Berhalter’s side will open their World Cup campaign against Wales on November 21, while also facing Iran in Group B, and a squad loaded with exciting young talent is expected to make a positive impression in the Middle East.