Official: Julian Araujo declares for Mexico, files switch from USMNT

LA Galaxy dual-national right back Julian Araujo has officially declared for the Mexican national team, filing a one-time switch from the United States that has been approved by FIFA, the federation and Araujo announced Tuesday.

Araujo, 20, represented the United States in his youth and made his senior debut in 2020, but wasn't cap-tied and was eligible to switch allegiance to Mexico. He also featured for the United States at the 2019 U-20 World Cup. He's started all but one of the LA Galaxy's 28 matches this year and has added six assists.

"My heart is with Mexico," Araujo said in a statement. "I'm grateful for every opportunity that U.S. Soccer has provided me to help me grow as a soccer player and now I am excited to continue my international career with Mexico."

The writing appeared to be on the wall for a few months. Araujo declined the USMNT's Gold Cup call-up this summer, then again in September as he pondered his future. After the USMNT released their roster last week for October matches, head coach Gregg Berhalter didn't have much information he could add.

“That’s information that he’s going to share with the group; it’s not for me to share," Berhalter said last week.

Even without Araujo, the USMNT remain deep at right back with Barcelona's Sergino Dest, Galatasaray's DeAndre Yedlin, Boavista's Reggie Cannon, Borussia Monchengladbach's Joe Scally, Roma's Bryan Reynolds, Tenerife's Shaq Moore and others in the pipeline.

Araujo is the latest dual-national to opt for Mexico after Galaxy teammate Efrain Alvarez and Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa made that decision. Conversely, FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi chose the USMNT.

The United States face Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica in World Cup qualifiers this international window before hosting Mexico in November.