Los Angeles Galaxy defender Julian Araujo was among the 20 players selected Thursday for the under-23 U.S. men’s national soccer team that will attempt to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The team will begin play in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship next Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico, against Costa Rica. The top two teams in each four-team group will advance to the semifinals which will be played March 28. Both semifinal winners will qualify for the Olympics. The U.S. is seeking to qualify for the Olympics in men’s soccer for the first time since 2008.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, were eligible for selection. The qualifying tournament had been scheduled for last March but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The eligibility date remained unchanged following the postponement.

Players selected to play for the U.S. in qualifying will not necessarily play in the Olympics should the U.S. qualify.

The 19-year-old Araujo played at Lompoc High School and is a product of the LA Galaxy Boys’ Academy. He had one goal and three assists in 17 games with the Galaxy in 2020 and one assist in 18 games in 2019. He made his debut with the U.S. men’s national team Dec. 9, playing the first 73 minutes in a 6-0 victory over El Salvador in an exhibition game.

Araujo has also played with the U.S. U-16, U-18 and U-20 national teams.

A second alumnus of the Galaxy Boys’ Academy was also selected, Ulysses Llanez, a midfielder with the Dutch first division team SC Heerenveen.

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