TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Extension
The LA Galaxy have signed defender Julian Araujo to a contract extension through the end of the 2025 season, the club announced Tuesday. Araujo will occupy one of the club's U22 initiative roster spots.
Araujo, 19, signed his first professional deal ahead of the 2019 season and grew into a regular with the Galaxy. He has made 45 career MLS appearances, including starting 10 of his side's 11 matches so far in 2021. The energetic right back, who can also play wingback or right midfield, is the first homegrown defender signed to a U-22 initiative contract.
“Julian is one of the best young defenders in North America and we’re thrilled that he’s chosen to continue his career with the LA Galaxy,” GM Dennis te Kloese said in a club statement. “This contract extension reinforces the Galaxy’s commitment to creating a pathway for young players and providing opportunities to develop as professionals. Signings such as Julian’s will guarantee the continuity of our talent on the club’s roster.”
Araujo joined the Galaxy Academy in 2018 and made two appearances with LA Galaxy II in USL play prior to signing with the first team in 2019. He has represented the US youth national team at various levels, including at the 2019 U-20 World Cup and Olympic Qualifying earlier this year, though is a dual-national and eligible to represent Mexico. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter revealed the fullback wasn't ready to make a choice on his future and was left off the United States' Gold Cup squad.
The Galaxy currently sit third in the Western Conference on 21 points after 11 matches, a fast start to the Greg Vanney era. They are next in action on Wednesday against FC Dallas (10:30 pm ET | MLS Live on ESPN+).