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FIFA clears defender Araujo to play for Mexico national team

October 4, 2021 GMT
Minnesota United midfielder Franco Fragapane (7) goes flying as LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo (2) stuck his foot out to defend during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota United midfielder Franco Fragapane (7) goes flying as LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo (2) stuck his foot out to defend during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota United midfielder Franco Fragapane (7) goes flying as LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo (2) stuck his foot out to defend during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

After playing one game for the United States, defender Julián Araujo has been cleared to change his national eligibility to Mexico, FIFA said Monday.

The 20-year-old LA Galaxy defender made his debut for the U.S. last December, starting at right back in a 6-0 win over El Salvador.

Araujo, who is from Lompoc, California, previously represented the U.S. at age-group levels through the Under-23 team.

In March, he played for the U.S. U-23 team against Mexico in a Tokyo Olympics qualification game. Mexico won 1-0 and eventually advanced to Tokyo, getting a bronze medal.

As a dual national with Mexican family ties, Araujo was eligible within FIFA’s rules to switch national teams and was yet to play a competitive game for the U.S. senior team.

Mexico faces the U.S. in their 2022 World Cup quaIification group on Nov. 12 in Cincinnati.

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