MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

USMNT or Poland? Chicago Fire GK Gaga Slonina attracting international attention

The Poland national team continues to increase their pursuit of Chicago Fire FC wonderkid goalkeeper Gaga Slonina. After being with the US youth national teams for years, Poland met with Slonina on Tuesday night, the Polish federation revealed on social media. has learned Poland will call up Slonina, but there is no word on if Slonina will accept. The 17-year-old is eligible for both the United States and Poland. 90min's Chris Smith said the call will come for Poland's June UEFA Nations League matches against Belgium, the Netherlands and Wales.

Poland national team manager Czeslaw Michniewicz was quoted in the media saying Slonina is “very interested in playing for our squad,” and it’s “heading in the right direction for us."

Slonina was called into the USMNT's December camp, and was named to the Concacaf World Cup qualifying roster in the January/February window, though he's not appeared in a game. He was one of four goalkeepers called up in January, but was not involved in March when, conspicuously, the USMNT had only three GKs on the squad.

USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter has encouraged dual-national players to experience other environments if they are interested. Dual-national recruiting is a big part of modern soccer and there are several regulars in the USMNT first team who could have represented other countries, such as Yunus Musah, Sergino Dest, Ricardo Pepi and more, not to mention Gio Reyna, who was eligible for other nations, but said he didn't consider anywhere other than the United States.

Matt Turner (joining Arsenal this summer) and Zack Steffen (Manchester City) were the USMNT's starters over World Cup qualifiers, the Gold Cup and Nations League. Sean Johnson (NYCFC) and Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest) have been among the backups. Poland's goalkeeping situation includes 32-year-old starter Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus), Bartłomiej Drągowski (Fiorentina) and Kamil Grbara (Copenhagen).

Slonina, a Chicago Fire homegrown product, won their starting job at the end of last season and has 18 MLS starts under his belt. This season the Fire's defense has been the best in MLS, with Slonina posting five clean sheets in their first seven games.

He is on the radar of a lot of big European clubs, with reporting an inquiry was made by reigning UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea over the winter. Other English clubs, as well as plenty of others, remain interested in Slonina, who is regarded as the top goalkeeping prospect of his age in the world.

Slonina was recently named to’s NXGN 2022 list recognizing the ​​top 50 players born on or after January 1, 2003.