Hudson confirms USMNT talks with Balogun
Interim USMNT head coach Anthony Hudson confirmed that the team has held talks with Folarin Balogun to switch allegiance from England.
21-year-old Folarin Balogun has played for the England national team since he was 16, but is seriously considering switching allegiances to the United States now. U.S. men’s national interim head coach Anthony Hudson has confirmed that Balogun has been in Florida having talks with the USMNT this week.
USMNT talks with Balogun confirmed
The USMNT is in Florida training for their CONCACAF Nations League games, the first of which will be tonight against Grenada. Hudson confirmed the talks with Balogun, and said he hopes to speak with him again.
“As I’ve said before, we’ve had dialogue. We’ve spoken. He’s out here having a bit of a break and then some training, and we’ve had some discussions,” Hudson said.
“I think it’s been good because it’s been an opportunity for us just to share about our program and who we are and what we do and that’s it,” he said. “I hope we get the chance to speak to him again. It’s been good.”
Balogun was born in New York to Nigerian parents, but grew up in England, so he is actually eligible to represent all three nations, as he chooses. He has mostly represented England, but did play for the U.S. in 2018 on the U-18 team in a tournament in the Czech Republc.
He is currently playing for Reims in Ligue 1, on loan from Arsenal and is having an incredible season, with 17 goals in 27 games, competing with the likes of Kylian Mbappé for the golden boot. He was not, however, called up to the England international team during this international window.
Balogun posted a message on Instagram shortly after being snubbed from the team with the caption, “In life, go where you’re appreciated”. He then dropped out of England’s U-21 group and left for the U.S.
“Obviously, from our side, we’d love to have him,” said USMNT captain Christian Pulisic. “I haven’t had any conversations with him personally, but hopefully I will in the near future.”