The USMNT could choose Folarin Balogun as FIFA approves change of eligibility from England


the United State can choose Balogun Folarin after England The under-21 striker who starred in Ligue 1 has chosen to represent the co-host country for the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA said on Tuesday it had approved a request by the US Soccer Federation to change Balogun’s national eligibility from England. The 21-year-old, born in New York, was also eligible Nigeria.

Balogun was in demand after his breakout season in France on loan Reims from Arsenal.

He has 19 goals and duels out Kylian Mbappe For part of the season to be the league’s top scorer. Mbappé now leads with 26 in favour Paris Saint-Germain.

Balogun was born in Brooklyn, although his Nigerian parents lived in London.

“My parents were on vacation there for a few months because we have family in New York,” Balogun said in an interview with the Ligue 1 website this season. “But soon after I was born, we all moved back to London.”

As Balogun acknowledged “London is my city, where I grew up, where my friends are, and if people ask me where I come from, I say I’m English. But, yeah, I’m a mixture of all of these cultures.”

He played for England and the United States at youth level before establishing himself in the England Under-21s.

His decision to represent the United States comes five weeks before they play England in the European Under-21 Championship they are hosting Romania And Georgia. The FA also had to agree to the eligibility change.

FIFA rules allow players to change national eligibility before playing in a competitive match at a senior level.

Balogun was courted by the United States for a visit to Florida in March and could pick him up for Florida State CONCACAF Gold Cupwhich it hosts from June 24 to July 16.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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