Folarin Balogun on his decision to join USMNT: 'It became a no-brainer'

The Brooklyn-born forward explains why he chose to commit to the United States for international competition, beginning with next month's CONCACAF Nations League semifinals.

Video transcript


FOLARIN BALOGUN: For my decision to represent the United States, we came together with my family and we decided it would be the right thing for me, the country. I was born in. So I mean, in the end that became a no-brainer. But for sure, it's just something that I wanted to do, and it feels it feels like I'm at home here.

My mom was saying, what took you so long? So I mean, we was all on the same page. And then as soon as we finished our conversation, I just sent the message off to my agent to say, let's make this happen.

For me to represent the United States means a lot, more than people will know. Across all sports when I was growing up, I just knew the United States would just dominate and win, especially at the Olympics. I would just always see them picking up gold medals. So for me to now have the opportunity to represent them, it means a lot to me and I just hope I can bring that prestige and winning mentality over into soccer.

And for sure, the potential of the squad's amazing. So definitely with me coming into it, I feel like I can add just my qualities and will really come through in the next few years. I like to play in the big games, and it's something that every young player should be aspiring to do. So for me having the opportunity to play against Mexico and in a rivalry will be amazing, and hopefully I can make the difference.