LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo has been named to Mexico’s World Cup Qualifying roster for the impending final three-game Concacaf Octagonal slate later this March, the federation announced Thursday.
The 20-year-old right back was one of 29 players called in by manager Tata Martino as the region’s Qatar 2022 spots get finalized. Other MLS connections are in the midfield, with Houston Dynamo FC summertime arrival Hector Herrera and Inter Miami CF's Rodolfo Pizarro (on loan at Liga MX’s Monterrey) both tabbed by the former Atlanta United boss.
Mexico enter the upcoming qualifiers sitting third in the Octagonal standings, with a marquee match vs. the United States at Estadio Azteca (March 24) starting the sprint before a trip to Honduras (March 27) and visit from El Salvador (March 30). They have 21 points from a 6W-2L-3D record, only trailing the US on goal differential.
Concacaf's top three teams earn an automatic bid to the World Cup, while the fourth-place team enters an inter-confederation playoff in June against Oceania's representative.
Araujo is in his fourth season with LA, notching one goal and 11 assists across 70 matches (62 starts) after becoming a locked-in starter under manager Greg Vanney. The dual-national represented the US at the youth levels and even made his senior debut in a December 2020 international friendly vs. El Salvador, then switched associations across Concacaf’s longstanding rivalry.
Araujo has made two appearances for Mexico, debuting in a December 2021 international friendly vs. Chile before making his World Cup qualifying debut off the bench last month vs. Panama.
Also of note, LA Galaxy striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and LAFC forward Carlos Vela continue to be omitted from Martino’s WCQ rosters. LA Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez wasn't selected, and Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido is out long-term following knee surgery.
Mexico have qualified for every World Cup since 1994, advancing to the Round of 16 – but not past that stage – in those seven subsequent tournaments.