It was the type of goal that has become typical for Folarin Balogun. It began with a run: start, stop, and then start again. By the time the defender checked his back shoulder, it was too late; Balogun was in on goal, unimpeded and, ultimately, unstoppable.
That was this past weekend against Paris Saint-Germain, when Balogun scored, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively meaningless goal. It was Monaco's second in a 5-2 PSG win, a goal that made the scoreline just a bit more bearable for Balogun and his teammates.
Still, that goal was more than that. It was a goal against PSG, which always feels like a statement. It was fourth goal of the season for Balogun, who is continuing to prove his worth after a big-money move to Monaco this summer. And it was another data point for the U.S. men's national team to study as they look to integrate Balogun into the team.
Thus far, the USMNT hasn't quite figured out how to get the best out of the young striker. He's gotten goals, three of them in fact, but he's also been kept quiet for large stretches. So what can the USMNT do to get more out of Balogun, and what can they learn from his success on the club level?