That’s why USA need him! Folarin Balogun scores his 20th goal of the season

That’s why the USA need him! Folarin Balogun scores his 20th goal of the season days after being cleared to play for USMNT in a huge breakthrough for US soccer

Folarin Balogun has shown just why there is so much excitement in the United States over his international switch by firing home his 20th goal of the season for French team Reims on Sunday.

The 21-year-old drilled a low shot past Angers goalkeeper Yahia Fofana in the 55th minute of their French league game on Sunday for his landmark goal after Angers failed to clear a pass into the penalty area.

The goal crowns a significant week for Balogun after FIFA cleared him to represent the United States at international level. The striker was born in Brooklyn and raised in London to Nigerian parents.

The move is also a major boost for the US team as its striking options were widely considered to be limited compared the talent across the rest of the team. 

Balogun will spearhead the USA attack this summer and lead the team in attack for the Copa America next year and the 2026 World Cup, where the USA is a co-host alongside Mexico and Canada. 

‘My decision to represent the United States came together with my family,’ said Balogun, who now has 20 goals in 35 games in France. ‘In the end it became a no-brainer, but for sure it’s just something I wanted to do and it feels like I’m at home here. 

‘To represent the United States means a lot, more than people would know. I’m very proud and honored to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.’

USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson added: ‘We are delighted that Folarin has chosen to represent the United States. 

‘Not only is he an extremely talented player, he’s also a good man who is going to add value to our National Team both on and off the field at a time when the team is continuing to improve. 

‘It’s clear that he values his U.S. roots and we can’t wait for him to come in and be a part of the team.’