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USMNT confirm contact with Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun



USMNT confirm contact with Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun

United States men’s national team interim coach Anthony Hudson has confirmed he is in talks with dual nationality striker Folarin Balogun in Florida this week to persuade the player to change his international affiliation .

The Arsenal striker, who is on loan at French club Reims, was initially called up to England Under-21 for the international window in March before retiring through injury and traveling to Florida for training independently.
The efforts of Hudson and United States Men’s National Team officials reflect US Soccer’s desire to continue to attract dual national team talent.

“Like I said, we had a dialogue. We talked. He’s taking a little break here and then a little practice and we had a few talks,” Hudson said during a virtual media availability Thursday.
“I think it was good because it was an opportunity for us to talk about our program, who we are and what we do, and that’s it. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to talk to him again. It was good and I know a few of the guys have talked to him as well.”

Hudson added: “It was really important to make sure that we did everything we could to engage with them and if there were any double nationals there that could help the team. We have to go from there. before, we connect, engage and bring these guys and see where they want to go and try to encourage them by showing them what we’re doing. Hopefully we can bring some guys to us.”

The New York-born striker has come to international attention through his involvement with Arsenal and Middlesbrough youth teams. He has since impressed on loan for France – Balogun is behind only Kylian Mbappe and Canadian Jonathan David in Ligue 1 goals.
His efforts impressed England U21 manager Lee Carsley and inspired him to make a call to Balogun before leaving for the United States. Before leaving, he gave no information about a possible change.

“You can’t twist anybody’s arm to play for England,” Carsley said this week. “You know, we can only make him feel as welcome as possible. We rate him very highly. We supported him when things didn’t go well. We called him up in the 21s when he played for Arsenal Under-23 because I knew what potential he had.”

To represent the US men’s national team, Balogun would need to complete FIFA’s one-off move, a process that hasn’t started yet