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Julian Araujo dazzles, leaves with injury late as three former Santa Barbara County stars meet in MLS match

Julian Araujo dazzles, leaves with injury late as three former Santa Barbara County stars meet in MLS match


Julian Araujo is 17 years old and, yet, he's already making waves in the MLS. The Lompoc native made his second start in the MLS Wednesday night.

However, Araujo's play didn't match that of a first-year player who isn't even old enough to vote.

The defender from Lompoc was, perhaps, the best player on the pitch, snuffing out attacking runs from Minnesota United forwards, then racing back down on the wing to help set up his LA Galaxy's offense.

Social media was buzzing, with fans on MLS media insiders fawning over Araujo's play before the youngster went down with an injury in the 79th minute and had to be subbed out.

Media reports had Araujo leaving the Allianz Field stadium in Minnesota on crutches, though the ankle injury does not appear to be serious.

Araujo set up the best scoring chances for his club.

He sent a cross that Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed wide of goal in the 24th minute. Araujo also sent a deep ball into the box to Ibrahimovic in the 62nd minute. Ibrahimovic was able to bring the ball down near the six-yard box, but wasn't able to gather it and put a shot on goal.

According to Opta, the MLS' analytics and data provider, Araujo chipped in 10 actions on defense and won three fouls while committing none. 

Kevin Baxter of the LA Times, reported that Galaxy skipper Guillermo Barros Schelotto said he expects Araujo to be ready for Sunday's match when the Galaxy host Real Salt Lake. 

Araujo has also been playing for the Under 20 U.S. national team, which will be playing in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland next month.

The match featured three players who starred for Santa Barbara County high schools and played for the Santa Barbara Soccer Club. 

Araujo and teammate Ema Boateng, a forward, started for the Galaxy. Boateng, a native of Ghana, graduated from the Cate School in Carpinteria and went on to play at UCSB. 

Minnesota started Abu Danladi, another native of Ghana, who starred at the Dunn School in Los Olivos before playing at UCLA. Danladi was named the national Gatorade Player of the Year while at Dunn.

Wednesday's match ended in a 0-0 draw. 

Araujo spent two seasons at Lompoc High School, playing both football and soccer. Araujo then went to the Barca Academy in Arizona before the LA Galaxy II, the second-tier club of the Galaxy. 

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at


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