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Chicago Fire Goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina Chooses USMNT Over Poland

The 18-year-old homegrown player said he’s “very proud of my roots and heritage,” but that his “heart is American.”

Gabriel Slonina Chicago Fire USMNT Poland
Photo: Chicago Fire FC

Gabriel Slonina declared his international future to the United States, the Chicago Fire goalkeeper announced on social media Friday.

The 18-year-old has represented the U.S. at U-15 level all the way to U-20. He has been called into U.S. camp twice in the past seven months, though has yet to be capped at senior level.

But the American-born goalkeeper was also eligible to play for Poland, the birth country of his parents. Poland manager Czeslaw Michniewicz called him up to be on the country’s roster for UEFA Nations League matches in June.

Michniewicz will have to look elsewhere in net after Slonina chose the Stars and Stripes.

The decision, however, isn’t fully locked in as Slonina could change his international allegiance. If he plays in fewer than four games — not including World Cup or continental tournament finals — before he’s 21, he could change to Poland.

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter did not include Slonina on the team’s roster for matches in June. That comes as no surprise given Slonina’s shaky play of late.

Gabriel Slonina has nine clean sheets in 23 MLS matches since his senior debut for the Chicago Fire as the youngest starting keeper in league history.

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for NHL.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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