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Julian Araujo announces switch to Mexican national team program


Rumors of Julian Araujo’s intentions regarding his international future have been swirling for weeks, and the LA Galaxy fullback confirmed what had been rumored for some time.

Araujo has staked his future with the Mexican national team program.

Araujo announced his decision to file a Change of Association with FIFA on Tuesday, revealing the news via social media.

The 20-year-old Galaxy defender made his USMNT debut in December against El Salvador, and subsequently represented the United States at the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament in the Spring, but those experiences weren’t enough to convince him to stick with the USMNT program, choosing instead to

Araujo had previously expressed his interest in representing Mexico and will join Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa as the latest American-born talent to switch his international allegiance to El Tri after initially representing the United States. Ochoa recently was named to the Mexican Under-21 national team on Tuesday for its upcoming camp in Marbella, Spain.

While Araujo expressed the emotional connections that led to him choosing Mexico, his decision does also him take him on an easier path for national team playing time.

Araujo’s decision comes a month after Ricardo Pepi chose to represent the United States after also considering the possibility of playing for Mexico. Pepi made his debut in a World Cup qualifying win against Honduras, scoring a goal and helping set up the other three USMNT goals in a 4-1 win.

Pepi has since parlayed that decision into a prominent role with the USMNT, and is a candidate to start at striker when the Americans play host to Jamaica on Thursday in Austin, Texas.

Araujo could square off with his former national team as early as November, when El Tri faces the USMNT at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati on November 12 in one of their final competitive matches in 2021.

Mexico resumes World Cup Qualifying on Thursday at Estadio Azteca against Canada before hosting Honduras on Sunday. Tata Martino’s squad concludes a three-match window on October 13 at El Salvador.


  1. Not a surprise that Araujo decided to go with El Tri. When you look at the current USMNT RB pool (no particular order) you have:
    Dest (20 yr Barca), Yedlin (28 yr Gala), Reggie Cannon (23 yr Bova),
    Reynalds (20 yr Roma) Scally (18 yr GM), Shaq Moore (24 yr)
    4 of them are approximately the same age as Araujo and have either already been part of the USMNT Sr. Team or have been making inroads with some prominent clubs in Europe. Not saying Araujo couldn’t break into the USMNT picture, but his chances to make the A-Team was going to be a hard task.
    Araujo & Duncan were basically at the same level…and would/will find it hard to crack the 1st team let alone fight off whatever new players crop up over the next 4 years.

    • He had the inside track to get his name noticed but decided the safer route by declining the GC invite. He would have been in Moore’s shoes right now. You live by your choices.

  2. Not terribly surprising. He is the same age as Dest and 2 years older than Scalley who are both probably rated higher than him at right back by US staff. I know Dest usually plays left back for US but not when they play Canada and Davies. A lot can change over the next 10 years so I hope he made the right decision and actually gets to play for Mexico. Sometimes, I get the feeling Mexico wants the dual nationals just so they don’t play for US but not so much because they want them to play for Mexico. I wonder if Scalley’s rise impacted his decision or if the timing is just coincidental. Hope it works out for him.

    • Probably has the best shot this cycle because there isn’t a lot of veterans at RB for Mexico. Ochoa’s chance to play likely won’t happen until after this cycle and Memo moves on. Efra was a star for there U17 but he’s still trying to transition to the man’s game. I think he needs a move either to Europe or at least Liga Mx to force him to step up. They’ve got vets in CM so as long as HH, Guardado and Jona Dos Santos stay healthy he’s likely out. Not going to beat out their Euro based wingers either.
      Going back 3 years ago and every interview since I’ve felt he was just waiting for El Tri to finally offer him.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see how much either will play over the next few years……speaking of all 3, efrain, araujo and ochoa…

    • exactly, because it sure hasn’t gone too well for Jona Gonzalez, whom everyone hyped up as this great, unthinkable “one that got away”

      • There’s undoubtedly going to be favor given to Mexican born players in the federation there, in the media and w/ fans (in Mexico) over American born Pochos. That said- Araujo will immediately be at least in the mix as RB is probably the thinnest / position of greatest need for Mexico. That was and is not at all the case w/ Jona in the midfield. In addition to not maintaining the same trajectory of development- he was always fighting uphill battle at his position. For sure he has greater upside than Chaka. Hard not to think that in addition to “his heart being with E;l Tri… the above and the logjam at right back w/ U.S…. Scally now emerging had something to do with his decision. We’re going to be OK but still disappointed he went south- he’s quality.

      • He lost his starting job at Monterrey shortly after filing his switch and now hardly plays for Necaxa who are not very good.

    • IMO Araujo is better than the other 2. I think he has a very high ceiling and will probably go to Europe soon. I’m just glad Scally is doing so well so we will still have a lot of quality depth at the position. For those who don’t follow the Galaxy, Araujo probably gets more minutes than anyone else on the team and when the team goes forward the other players seem to look to Araujo first for wing play and he leads the team in assists.

    • Tata was asked about them and he said they are for the future, meaning, most likely they are not going to get a chance until after the 2022 dance.

      • The risk is the next manager might not be interested. I see Araujo making a move to Europe, but if Ochoa and Efra are still in MLS they aren’t getting call up in 2022 either.

  4. In other news, Gregg Berhalter was busy NOT calling in Joe Scally – not even when he just called 27 guys! – seeing as how the USMNT is just So Awesome at RB that we need not even consider new entrants.

    Rock on.


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