USMNT W/L Copa americaGetty Images

Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi and USMNT Winners and Losers from opening Copa America victory over Bolivia

Folarin Balogun is still the U.S. men's national team's newest superstar. In Sunday's Copa America opener against Bolivia, he was the lone member of the starting XI that wasn't a regular during the last cycle. The striker is just more than a year into his USMNT career.

This is all still very fresh.

Balogun doesn't see it that way. In his eyes, he's no longer engaging in the feeling-out process. The welcoming period is over - Balogun has officially arrived for the U.S.

"I don't really feel like the new guy anymore," Balogun said after the match. "For me personally, I need to make that transition into being somebody that can be relied on, somebody that's consistent, somebody that changes games. I don't think you can achieve that by being the new guy. I feel confident in this group and everybody's helped me to feel that way."

His goal in the USMNT's 2-0 win over Bolivia proved it. Just moments before halftime, Balogun provided exactly the type of strike that made him such a vital recruit to begin with. Balogun, at his core, is a pure striker, and on Sunday, he did what strikers do: score.

It was a huge goal for the USMNT, and a bigger one for Balogun. The confidence will be flowing in his first major tournament. If Balogun can provide goals, the USMNT will be more dangerous than ever. He got one on Sunday, and all involved will hope it's the first of many for the USMNT's not-so-new-striker.

GOAL takes a look at the USMNT's winners and losers from a 2-0 win over Bolivia.

Article continues below