It won’t be long before U.S. men’s national team fans get their first look at Folarin Balogun in the stars and stripes, with the Reims striker set to appear in his first training camp next week.
Just two weeks after switching allegiance from England, a move that was considered a massive coup for the U.S., Balogun was named in the USMNT’s 24-man training camp roster ahead of this month’s Concacaf Nations League Final Four (23 of the 24 players will make the semifinal roster). It is widely anticipated he will make his official debut against Mexico in the semifinals June 15.
The U.S. named one of its strongest rosters in recent memory, even stronger than December’s World Cup squad given the absences of Miles Robinson, Chris Richards and Ricardo Pepi in Qatar. However, the USMNT will be without its captain in Tyler Adams due to a lingering injury suffered during the Premier League season with Leeds while defender Tim Ream is also out with injury.
The Nations League semifinals will be the first test for recently appointed interim coach B.J. Callaghan. The former U.S. assistant replaced interim manager Anthony Hudson after the team announced Hudson’s departure Tuesday.
“In addition to having big-game experience and top-level talent, what’s great about this group overall is the familiarity and understanding that’s been built together these last four years about our style and our culture,” Callaghan said in a statement.. “We’re excited to integrate some of the newer faces as we set out to achieve our first goal of the summer in defending the Concacaf Nations League title.”
The winner of the Nations League semifinals will take on Canada or Panama in the final June 18. The U.S. is the current holder of the inaugural Nations League title.
USMNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Drake Callender (Inter Miami), Josh Cohen (Maccabi Haifa), Sean Johnson (Toronto FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal)
DEFENDERS: Sergiño Dest (AC Milan), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
MIDFIELDERS: Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alan Soñora (FC Juárez),
FORWARDS: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Folarin Balogun (Stade Reims), Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tim Weah (Lille), Alex Zendejas (Club América)