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Arsenal prospect Balogun headlines U.S. U-18 squad for Vaclav Jezek Tournament


Arsenal youth product Folarin Balogun headlines the roster for the U.S. U-18 squad in the Czech Republic to play in the Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament.

Balogun, who has been called up by England’s U-17 squad as well, is eligible to play for the U.S. because he was born in New York.

Since the Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament is not an official FIFA competition, Balogun does not have to apply for an association switch.

“Since Folarin has represented England in an official competition at the youth level, in order to represent the United States in official competition he would have to apply for a one-time change of association,” the USSF said. “He has not done so at this point, but this does not prevent him from playing in friendly matches such as this tournament.”

The forward is one of two players earning their first call-up for the squad led by U.S. U-20 boss Tab Ramos.

Four players who featured for the U.S. at the 2017 U-17 World Cup made the roster as well, including LA Galaxy academy standout Ulysses Llanez.

Goalkeepers: David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Kris Shakes (Philadelphia Union)

Defenders: Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), Nico Benalcazar (New York City FC), Nathan Harriel (Chargers Soccer Club), Julian Hinojosa (FC Dallas), Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Stuart Ritchie (FC Groningen), Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy)

Midfielders: Taylor Booth (Unattached), Justin Haak (New York City FC), Aidan Morris (Crew SC Academy), Marcelo Palomino (Houston Dynamo), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas), Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa)

Forwards: Roberto Hategan (Sacramento Republic), Ulysses Llanez (LA Galaxy), Axel Picaxo (Philadelphia Union), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas), Gabe Segal (Bethesda SC), Folarin Balogun (Arsenal)


  1. He could end up being a star of course, but man, I remember the last time I got excited for a dual-nation, highly-touted Arsenal prospect choosing to play for the US…. :-/


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