Balogun scored his third goal for the USMNT Tuesday night and it's undoubtedly his best one.
Watch: Folarin Balogun insane goal vs. Ghana
The USMNT’s 4-0 victory over Ghana in their latest friendly from October’s international break was a great showing from Gregg Berhalter’s men, especially in the first half.
Four goals — Gio Reyna's brace, Pulisic's penalty kick and a Balogun strike inside the 18 — in the opening 40 minutes showed stints of the potential in the American’s attacking power, with Balogun’s third goal for the USMNT finally exhibiting why his one-time switch from England to the U.S. earlier this year promised the same type of skillset (and goals) he showed out against the Black Stars in Geodis Park.
In the 20th minute, a high press from the USMNT attack, followed by a sloppy control from the Ghana defender, sent Timothy Weah into the box and with the clear option to set up Balogun in front of goal for a first time finish. The Monaco man, however, had other plans.
With the Ghana defender and goalkeeper standing in the way of a shot, the 22-year-old striker dragged the ball with his back behind goal, leaving both opposing players in the dust, away from goal and as mere spectators of Balogun’s incredible skillshow.
Now that’s a beautiful tap-in.
This was Balogun's third international goal for the USMNT, adding Ghana to the same list as Oman and Canada since his debut last June.
Is this a sign of a better USMNT Balogun under Berhalter?
Let's hope so.
Balogun’s goal (with blunt victory included), comes in no greater timing after rumors of a supposed tension between Berhalter and Balogun surfaced on social media after September’s international break.
The concerning rumors, along with Berhalter’s controversial re-appointment as manager and Balogun’s ‘penalty-missing start’ with new club Monaco in Ligue 1, left what’s to come for both in the USMNT for the near future, in the air.
However, the fantastic first half performance against Germany and the well-rounded game against Ghana, with both a goal and assist for Balogun, have cooled the waves of questioning down (for now).
"It's a process, but I'm still scoring goals & enjoying my football, and as time goes on I'm sure the connections & relationships will come," Balogun said when asked about adapting to Berhalter's instructions on the pitch.
We will see if Balogun continues to show his worth and progress under Berhalter in the USMNT’s next official pair of matches in November when they prepare to compete in a two-match Nations League playoff for a spot in next year’s Copa America.