Berhalter: Galaxy's Araujo 'not fully ready to commit' to USMNT

Berhalter: Galaxy's Araujo 'not fully ready to commit' to USMNT

CONCACAF Gold Cup

Berhalter: Galaxy's Araujo 'not fully ready to commit' to USMNT

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United States Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter’s Gold Cup squad includes a young trio of right backs in Boavista’s Reggie Cannon, Tenerife’s Shaq Moore and Real Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera.

Each will have their chance to vie for playing time as the United States begins the Concacaf Gold Cup on July 11 in Kansas City.

Los Angeles Galaxy right back Julian Araujo, a dual-national between the United States and Mexico, was noticeably absent from the USMNT’s Gold Cup squad, which was announced Thursday.

Berhalter, in Thursday morning’s press conference, revealed that Araujo’s exclusion is because Araujo is not ready to tie himself to the United States, which would have happened if he appeared in a Gold Cup match.

“It’s a case of, you know, him being a dual national, and not fully ready to commit to the team,” Berhalter said. “And he knows that the Gold Cup would lock him in permanently. And he wasn’t ready to make that step.”

Araujo appeared once for the senior USMNT, in a friendly against El Salvador. He has five caps for the U-23 team and has played in United States youth national teams since 2017 with the U-16s.

Berhalter said he thinks Araujo wants to consider his options given the depth the United States has at right back.

“I don’t want to speak for him,” Berhalter said. “But I can imagine when he looks at the depth of the right back position, he sees a logjam there, and he doesn’t maybe fully see his pathway to being a starter in the next World Cup.”

Reggie Cannon figures to be the starter at right back as the Gold Cup starts. Cannon is coming off a strong season at Boavista in the Portuguese top flight, and is also reportedly looking for a move away from Boavista soon.

Berhalter added that he did not call in Roma right back Bryan Reynolds because he did not want to interfere with Roma’s preseason. He said he wanted to give Reynolds the opportunity to impress new Roma manager Jose Mourinho.

Araujo will continue to be a target for the United States, Berhalter said.

“We really value Julian, and we think he’s an outstanding player,” Berhalter said. “And we think he can make a run at being a star on this team. And you know, a lot of it’s going to be up to his form and his development, but he’s a young player, talented player, and we think that, you know, he does have a future with this team. But for the Gold Cup, he’s not going to be taking part.”

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