Julian Araujo passed another milestone last weekend.
The Lompoc native and former Lompoc High Brave, who's now playing for the L.A. Galaxy, made his professional debut Saturday night in an MLS preseason game against Toronto FC at the Dignity Health Park in Carson.
Araujo came on as a sub in the 65th minute for Rolf Feltscher.
Araujo played two years at Lompoc High before leaving for the Barca Academy in Arizona. Then, last summer, he opted to join to the LA Galaxy II, the MLS club's second team.
The 17-year-old has yet to sign a contract with the top-flight club in Los Angeles, but has been seeing plenty of the pitch for the Galaxy.
The 5-foot-9 centerback was in the Galaxy's starting 11 in a closed-door scrimmage against Vissel Kobe, a top Japanese club that features former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta, on Feb. 5.
Araujo played alongside the likes of stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jonathan Dos Santos in that contest. Then made his debut at Dignity Park, formerly known as the Home Depot Center and StubHub Center, Saturday night in the 65th minute playing with the Galaxy's big names.
Araujo posted to social media after making playing Saturday night.
“Couldn’t be happier to have been able to make my professional debut tonight in front of not only the great fans, but my family and friends as well,” Araujo wrote. “Thank you to coach for showing confidence in me tonight. It was a special moment that I will never forget!”
Couldn’t be happier to have been able to make my professional debut tonight in front of not only the great fans, but my family and friends as well. Thank you to coach for showing confidence in me tonight, it was a special moment that I will never forget!— Julian Araujo (@julian__araujo) February 10, 2019
The Galaxy and Toronto played to a 1-1 draw after a bizarre finish with own goals for each squad. Los Angeles was first to go up after an own goal from Terique Mohammed. Toronto found an equalizer of sorts on Dave Romney's own goal late.
Araujo, who had initially committed to play for UC Santa Barbara if he went the college route, made a total of two appearances for the Galaxy II last year, making his debut with the second-division club last October.
He has traveled the globe playing for the United States National Team junior squads, making two appearances last year at the Under-20 CONCACAF Championships last November.
Though Araujo, who will turn 18 in August, has yet to sign a contract with the Galaxy, he may do just that sometime soon. The Galaxy are scheduled to play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps in another MLS preseason game on Saturday night in Carson. The regular season then starts on Saturday, March 2 with a game versus the Chicago Fire in Carson.
Araujo also played football briefly at Lompoc High, as a placekicker and position player. But focused solely on soccer thereafter.
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