The next potential goalkeeping great in U.S. soccer history has committed to play with the Stars and Stripes. Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina, 18, was eligible to represent Poland or the U.S. and even received a call-up from the Poland national team to play in the UEFA Nations League next month.
Slonina was born in Addison, Illinois, and is of Polish descent.
Slonina, the youngest goalkeeper to ever start in MLS, took to Twitter on Friday to announce his “heart is American.”
“This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for. It’s pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I’ll put my head down is to kiss it. America is home and that’s who I’m going to represent,” Slonina said.
— GAGA (@GabrielSlonina) May 20, 2022
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) May 20, 2022
Gabriel Slonina announces he will represent the USMNT over Poland going forward in his international career.Slonina was the youngest starting keeper in MLS history at 17 years and 81 days old
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 20, 2022
— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) May 20, 2022
Slonina has been called up to the USMNT roster twice for World Cup qualifying but has yet to make his first senior appearance. If USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter’s roster picks give any indication, Slonina is fourth in the American goalkeeping pecking order.
Berhalter opted for Zack Steffen, Matt Turner and Ethan Horvath in the latest USMNT roster released on Friday.
.Gregg Berhalter names 27-man roster for June matches » https://t.co/C79NCIqIGq#USMNT x @BioSteelSports pic.twitter.com/e0VI7nClDG
— USMNT (@USMNT) May 20, 2022
Slonina is the starting goalkeeper for the Chicago Fire and will likely make a move overseas in the future. If Slonina turns into a star goalkeeper, this moment of commitment to the USMNT will be one of the most important in his career.