Folarin Balogun explains why he switched allegiance to play for the USMNT

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Folarin Balogun says Southgate comments had no impact on decision to play for USA

The 21-year-old Arsenal forward, Folarin Balogun, stated that Gareth Southgate’s advice to wait for a spot in the senior national team did not influence his choice to change his allegiance and represent the United States.

The highly desired Balogun, who was loaned to Reims in Ligue 1, announced last month that he would play for the US team, having previously played for England’s Under-21 team.

The Americans are considered victorious as Balogun managed to score 21 goals in Ligue 1 this season, despite Southgate’s earlier statement that it would take a while for him to become a starter for the English national team.

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Last week, Balogun reached the training camp located in Carson, California, in preparation for the upcoming match between the United States and their rivals, Mexico, in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League.

“My decision to come here was just really an internal decision between myself, my family and my agent. It wasn’t anything to do with the comments of Gareth Southgate or anything to do with noise I heard from outside,” Balogun said on Friday.

“That was something I wanted to do. It (was) something my family supported and at the end of the day, I just went with my heart and went with what I thought was the best,” he added.

Balogun mentioned that he had already adapted well to the team and had gained knowledge about the past conflicts between the United States and Mexico.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, not just for me, but for the team,” he said. “Mexico and the US have a big rivalry, so I’m looking forward to it.”

“And, of course, there’d be no better way to introduce myself than playing against a big opposition where it matters.”

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