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Berhalter: Galaxy’s Araujo ‘not fully ready to commit’ to USMNT


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.”


  1. So it’s Particularly hard for Mexican dual nationals. They grow up here and love the country.
    Their entire family supports El Tri and they have as well their whole lives. It’s hard to discard that tradition and history. We all know how passionate Mexican fans are. Why should the lad choose now when he won’t be a starter for either team anytime soon.

  2. Have to look at this from the coach’s perspective. One of the biggest complaints we as fans have had and even some ex-Nat players now turned pundits is that the team lost that drive to do anything for the team mentality. To fight harder, run more to get the win. I would give Berhalter credit for getting some of this mentality back into the team and if this means not pressing a player who is not totally bought into representing the US Men’s National team then it is better to not call in this player. It is team building or rather squad building and knowing that everyone who accepts the call-up is 100% committed to representing the US of A. We can’t have players in camp who are 90 or 95% committed and expect the rest of the squad not to notice.

  3. Kid probably has options, but has Mexico expressed a serious interest? In any case at this time, the USA does not need players who are wishy-washy about committing. There was a time not long ago that a talented player could be on the US squad with only a somewhat tepid commitment (Chandler, for example). That is no longer true, the talent difference between the top prospects is just not that great, hence the arguments about who should start or be called in; the enthusiasm to play for the USA now matters more than ever.

    • tata martino says he’s 100% theirs. paraphrasing. one presumes that reflects some degree of interest. he has pursued him and efrain for a while and will likely get both.

      • The 100% was in regard to Alvarez not Araujo. Also Efra has been in the Mexican system since 2017 well before Tata arrived. US has been trying to bring Efra back ever since at least Gregg got Alvarez to take a look.
        As for Musah, Southgate said in Nov. “We’re monitoring him. He’s been with us in the last couple months and we’d very much like his future to be with us.” “John (FA asst. technical director) has been in contact with the family and they know where we sit with it.” Much like the US with Ayo and Efra England valued Musah, saw a future with Musah but weren’t going to throw him to the front of the line just to tie him down.

      • To your point, once they get them they will discard them. To be honest though we do it as well.

    • you have it precisely backwards. GB went after dest who literally was chatting up holland in press conferences in camp. he invites players to go kick the tires elsewhere. he is still supposedly emailing nagbe. i think in theory we could be more aggressive locking dual nationals down and ask more of them — and probably retain more doing so. i think if we spread around the minutes and caps more in reward for those efforts we would also keep more. so i don’t buy your thesis that we can play hardball and lose some of the deep pool. i think we could keep them all — at least most of them — if we made them feel wanted. but we have been both pushovers and stuck with our favorites. so with the exception of dest we don’t make any special effort to include dual national people and we tell them shop around. no surprise some are buying from other stores.

      i leave musah out of this analysis because there was no appearance they were actually interested. we pushed through an unlocked swinging gate. and even there we did not do the obvious and get him some GC minutes to concrete our situation. it’s pretty lazy and sloppy.

      • your take is way off…so what dual national haven’t we been able to reign in since Greg’s been in charge? And don’t give us qualifiers when you talk about how you will not include Musah into this category bc in your opinion he wasn’t seriously considered for England when Southgate has come out and said just the opposite! Efrain ALvarez is the only one that seems to be gearing up for Mexico, but even he hasn’t fully committed to El Tri yet, and my fear for him committing to Mexico is similar to that of Jona Gonzalez, who was wined and dined by the mexican federation to get him to commit, only to see him nowhere near the mexican national team now, and quite frankly if he had stayed with the USMNT set up I don’t think he’d be getting call ups anyway because of the depth at his position!

    • also re chandler what you’re missing is he was committed to us but not necessarily to the demands of international play. it’s not that he got buyer’s remorse and went back to german affection. he just didn’t like planes.

      also bears noting that in terms of the players’ reasoning, you are getting an edited version via the telephone game. GB is giving his self serving version of why players told him no, based on what they bothered to tell him. the nastiest critiques are probably either not even given to GB by the player, or GB edits them out before passing on the explanation to the press. so of course GB self servingly will say “the player didn’t see a path to starting,” which implies his coaching savvy and that the player is simply aware they are not rated by the coach. i doubt “you’re a hack with weird tactical ideas who is also too dumb to give me a fair chance” is conveyed to the coach or if so passed on to the press.

      should be noted that these decisions are likely being conveyed right now not because the decision is now but rather because the decision was months ago but a switch is being filed now and we might see some of them at GC on opposing rosters. despite the fact the coach is still experimenting at both 9 (akinola) and back (araujo) for GC, and might have included them, the contradictory argument for their omit is “the player didn’t see how they would be included.” if you think about it that makes no sense and suggests the player was already gone based on the friendlies and NL. cause otherwise the “duh” response to a player fretting about their role is “hey, dude, come play GC i will play you now plenty.”

      GB’s rhetoric doesn’t logically follow here, it’s self serving. but then he’s usually kind of slippery if you listen close to what he says — the nearly substance free explanation of why musah sat, for example. which nearly said i sat him because i sat him. you notice when he says the player wasn’t sure they had a chance he’s edited himself out of that decision.

      • Your take on the national team is as if you are playing FIFA on playstation and building an all star team. You cannot just spread minutes and caps constantly.

        Musah. I’m disappointed he didnt see time but his form had been poor in the spring and end of the season. He barely played for a while. So could it be that his form kept him out of the two knockout games? We couldnt afford to hand out a charity minute for cap tie purposes in either. Not if your objective is to win and build momentum for qualifying. Berhalter job is to win. Maybe, just maybe, GB is being careful with Musah’s confidence level.
        He played what, 75 mins in the CR friendly? How did he look?
        How many friendly caps does Musah have now, over 3?
        Over 3 friendlies at his age cap ties him too btw.

      • Chandler was in Germany, in what world did he think playing for the US wouldn’t involve plane travel? He did not seem to have an issue for travelling to the first game he played for the US, a friendly vs Argentina in NJ. His commitment was at the very best questionable.

      • KC — you misunderstand my process. my process would have begun back in 2018. you go around kicking tires for 2 years and then you get serious in 2021 with the ones who have performed well during the trial period. you can mock my approach but GB’s fairly consistent progression is learning his veterans kind of suck and when they get hurt or miss out the kids finally get to play, and often shine. reyna, horvath, etc. if he had begun 2019 as open auditions instead of playing his favorites, which he then had to unlearn, this process could have been done faster.

        you have to understand from my perspective nothing but quali and the world cup matters. IMO we take gold cup too seriously and it often encourages roster conservatism and gets in the way of identifying the best team. eg how the heck does guzan help us win? all that says is we are so veteran biased we think the fact you had prior caps makes you somehow more deserving of more caps even if the others outplay you like mad in league AND your cap history is like the definition of “mixed bag.”

    • KC: Musah is not cap tied. Playing in official competitions is still the only way to cap tie an untied player. Where people got confused was the new rule that was put in to protect young players. A player who is under 21 is able to file a one time switch if they play three or less games and wait three years from their last cap. However, they still have to have one of those games still be a competitive match otherwise they aren’t tied in the first place. Musah’s 6 caps only will lock him in once he plays in a competitive match.

      • i refuted this the other day and pointed you to the breakdown. you’re trading in a misunderstanding of the rules. a regional championship cap ties. or if you play in an “A” international no more than 3 games, if you meet other criteria. that did not change regionals cap tying. that arguably tightened up whether an ordinary friendly is effective. an “A” international is not the same as “regionals.” or they wouldn’t say “or.” an “A” international includes first choice friendlies. what the debate becomes is what was a first choice friendly. no you and twellman are wrong — what they did was say your 4th friendly might cap tie certain players as well. not that you could switch out of a regional appearance. you’re wrong wrong wrong, he whiffed on committing musah. luckily right now he’s not shopping and he may be a rotation player in some weak home game in quali to finish it off.

      • i also want to say if i read it right that the 3 “A” appearance “out” was caveated with a rule where you had to have not appeared for 3 years after getting your no more than 3 “A” caps. something more like “boyd” who wasn’t playing for NZ for a while before he played for us. i assume the argument being made by our swappers is what they played were not “A” games. because they didn’t sit out 3 years.

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