Folarin Balogun picks USMNT over England, and instantly becomes a top U.S. striker
The U.S. men's national team has won a recruitment battle for coveted multi-national striker Folarin Balogun,
whose official request to switch his affiliation from England to the U.S. was approved by FIFA on Tuesday.
Balogun, 21, will be immediately eligible to represent the USMNT, and could debut for the country of his birth as soon as next month.
U.S. Soccer, in announcing the news, said that Balogun "is expected" to be part of the U.S. squad that plays Mexico in the Nations League semifinals on June 15.
Balogun was born in New York to Nigerian parents, then spent most of his childhood in England.
He therefore could have played for any of the three countries internationally.
He represented England in official youth competitions.
As he rose through Arsenal's academy, he seemed destined for the England senior team as well
But, as he broke out with 19 goals this season on loan at French club Reims, an England call-up never came — and U.S. Soccer accelerated its recruitment.