U.S. U20 men’s national team goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina says his move to Chelsea still doesn’t feel real to him.
- Slonina on life at Chelsea
- Blues set to play in goalkeeper’s hometown
- U20 World Cup set to begin this weekend
WHAT HAPPENED? Slonina joined Chelsea from the Chicago Fire after the 2022 MLS season and has featured prominently for the club’s development squad. Despite not yet making his first-team debut, Slonina is widely seen as the club’s goalkeeper of the future, with many believing he can be among the best shot-stoppers in the world someday.
The 19-year-old American says he still finds himself stunned that he’s at Chelsea at such a young age.
WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s honestly been a dream come true,” he told the club’s website ahead of his birthday on Monday. “It still doesn’t really feel real when I’m training with some of the best players in the world and learning from them. I think it’s been great for me to come over here and get better as a person and as a player on and off the field.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Slonina could get something of a homecoming this summer, with Chelsea set to travel to his hometown for a friendly against Borussia Dortmund. It’s something that Slonina is looking forward to as a city close to his heart is set to welcome the club he now calls home.
“I think it’s definitely going to be a great atmosphere,” he said. “I know we play at Solider Field, so I think that a lot of the fans are going to come out and it’s going to be a good atmosphere for the boys to have a pre-season match. It’s definitely going to be a good time and hopefully we can come away with a good result.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT? Slonina is with the U.S. U20s ahead of the U20 World Cup in Argentina, which kicks off for the U.S. this Saturday when they face Ecuador. They’ll also face Fiji and Slovakia in the group stage, with Slonina set to start in goal after making his senior debut earlier this year.
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