Folarin Balogun's dramatic international U-turn! Arsenal loanee appears to be in Orlando near USMNT camp after leaving England duty
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WHAT HAPPENED? Amid speculation that Balogun might commit to the United States over England and Nigeria, he posted a picture on Instagram on Wednesday apparently taken in Orlando, where the USMNT is spending its international break.
There is no confirmation that the picture of the on-fire Reims forward, who is spending the year on loan from Arsenal, is from this week, but the timing ignited a frenzy among Stars and Stripes fans. His 17 Ligue 1 goals this term signify he could be a star for America should he choose to play for the USMNT.
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AND WHAT'S MORE: Even a few months ago, the thought of Balogun playing for the USMNT was considered far-fetched. It now appears increasingly likely he will eventually do so - though no official decision has been revealed.
YO BALOGUN IS IN ORLANDO‼️‼️‼️— USMNT burner (@burnerusmnt) March 22, 2023
THIS IS NOT A DRILL ‼️‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/hig0iV3ZDn
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The USMNT recently confirmed interest in convincing Balogun to join its ranks, while the player himself posted a cryptic message after being left out of England's senior team. Goalkeeper Matt Turner also said he's worked on getting Balogun to join his nation of birth. He momentarily joined up with the Three Lions' youth program but left because of an injury, the team announced.
"In life, go where [you're] appreciated," he wrote on Instagram earlier this week.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? It remains unlikely that Balogun would actually play in any USMNT matches this international break, even if he is in Orlando, as such a move would be frowned upon by England given his injury status. However, he could be getting a sense for what USMNT camp feels like before making a final decision on his allegiance. He has yet to announce his intentions.