Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun scored for the United States’ u18s on Wednesday, in his first appearance for the country.
The Arsenal 17-year-old previously represented England’s u17s, but given he was born in New York he’s also eligible to play for the U.S. As a result, he’s taking part in the Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament for the country.
Balogun’s first game was a successful one, as the young side ran out 5-0 winners, with the Arsenal man bagging one of the goals.
The U-18 #USMNT ran rampant over Bulgaria 5-0 at the Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament overseas. Goals from: Gabe Segal (x2), Thomas Roberts, Indiana Vassilev, and Folarin Balogun. Ulysses Llanez assisted twice. pic.twitter.com/DgJOGfTRkd
— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) August 22, 2018
Since the tournament isn’t an official FIFA competition, Balogun doesn’t have to apply for a change of association. If he did want to keep playing for the U.S. in the future though, he’d have to make the change, and couldn’t then go back on his decision.
You’d imagine England would be very keen to try and convince the youngster to stick with his original choice though. Last season Balogun scored nine goals and assisted three in just 14 appearances in the u18 Premier League. He also scored a couple of goals in Arsenal’s run to the Youth Cup final, as well as getting his first at u23 level.
If he continues with that kind of progress this season, he’ll be following in Eddie Nketiah’s footsteps and knocking on the door of the first team before long.