Who Is Folarin Balogun And Why Are US Men’s National Team Fans So Excited About Him?

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The sport of soccer has absolutely taken off over the last decade-plus in the United States.

From the popularity of the EA Sports FIFA franchise to the growth in TV and streaming content allowing fans to watch all their favorite leagues, the sport has never been bigger in the states.

With that growth has come a rapid improvement in the talent on the United States Men’s National Team. The results may not indicate it, but the USMNT is more talented than ever before.

Part of that improvement has come due to the addition of multi-nationals. That is, players who were either born in the US to foreign parents, born overseas to American parents, or have some sort of tie to the US allowing them to rep the red, white and blue.

Some of the team’s biggest stars fall under this category. Christian Pulisic could’ve played for Croatia. Timothy Weah could’ve represented France, Jamaica or Liberia. And rising star Yunus Musah could have played for England, Italy, Ghana or the US.

All ended up in the fold with the US, giving the Yanks more talent than ever heading into a 2026 FIFA World Cup on home soil.

But one key piece has always seemed to elude the US: a striker.

Yes, for all the talent it has amassed, the US had badly lacked a pure goal-scorer who can put the ball in the net. It plagued the Yanks badly at 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and that story seemed all-too-familiar for diehard fans.

Young talents like Ricardo Pepi, Josh Sargeant and Jesus Ferreira have impressed at times. But none of them are in the class of America’s next big hope.

Meet Folarin Balogun.

USMNT Can’t Contain Their Excitement Over Folarin Balogun

Who is Folarin Balogun? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Balogun is a 21-year-old born in Brooklyn to Nigerian parents, who then moved to England at the age of two. He’s eligible to play for all three countries.

Balogun joined the Arsenal academy at just seven years old in 2008 and has slowly but surely risen through the ranks of the famed Premier League club.

This year, he’s spent his time on loan from Arsenal at French club Reims. It was the biggest move of his young career, and he hasn’t disappointed.

In 27 matches, Balogun has 17 goals. That puts him in a tie for third in Ligue 1 behind superstar Kylian Mbappe and Canadian star Jonathan David. It also puts him ahead of names such like Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Many assumed he would eventually join the English national team. But when he wasn’t selected to the Three Lions for their latest international matches, Balogun took to Instagram and posted a story that read “in life, go where you’re appreciated this.”

This sparked rumors he could well be set to look elsewhere.

Those rumors took off this week when he turned up in Orlando ahead of United States’ CONCACAF Nations League match against El Salvador.

Interim US manager Anthony Hudson then confirmed he spoke with Balogun regarding the USMNT. Nothing is official, but that hasn’t stopped fans from getting excited.

Folarin Balogun is the real deal. And fans US Men’s National Team fans are making sure he knows it.