CHICAGO – He’s one of the best, if not the best young goalkeeper in all of American soccer, but a choice of national teams was possible for Gabriel Slonina.
Because he has dual citizenship in the United States and Poland, the Addison native had the option to choose which squad to play for. On Friday, he made that decision.
On his Twitter account, Slonina announced that he’ll play for the United States Men’s National Team moving forward, choosing to represent the country that he currently calls home.
The goalkeeper had been listed on the 39-man roster for the Polish national team earlier this week ahead of their four upcoming Nations League matches. Instead, Slonina will remain with the USMNT for the long term as he starts his promising professional and international soccer career.
Slonina has appeared in matches for the United States on the U-15, U-16, U-17, and U-20 levels in his soccer career. In both December and January, the goalkeeper was called up to USMNT camp but didn’t appear in a match.
It’s been quite a year for Slonina, who turned 18 years old this past weekend. On August 4, 2021, he became the youngest goalkeeper to start a match in Major League Soccer history when he did so in a scoreless draw with New York City FC.
Slonina had four clean sheets in 11 matches in his rookie year with 16 total goals allowed and had a strong start to the 2022 campaign. He only allowed two goals in the first seven matches for the Fire in 2022 but the going has been rough of late, giving up 14 scores in five matches where the club is 0-4-1.
Manager Ezra Hendrickson said that Slonina remains the club’s No. 1 keeper despite the recent troubles and will be in the net when the Fire face reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC on the road on Sunday at 4 PM.