MLS announced their “22 Under 22” list for 2022 on Tuesday, and two LA Galaxy players — defender Julian Araujo and midfielder Efrain Alvarez — have been named to the rankings once again this year.
Araujo has been ranked No. 5 for the 2022 list:
No. 5 // #22U22— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 20, 2022
The right back from SoCal is a centerpiece for the @LAGalaxy and @julian__araujo is just getting started with Mexico. pic.twitter.com/wiUkHrfTkb
That means the voters kept Araujo in the same spot as in 2021, after he entered at No. 12 in 2020. In terms of basic stats, he’s improved this season, posting eight assists so far in league play, compared to seven last year, and after having problems with cards in 2020, he’s only picked up five yellows this season and no red cards so far, his best discipline season to date. An MLS All-Star this season, Araujo has drawn interest from clubs in Europe and the 21-year-old remains a fixture at right back for the Galaxy for the time being.
Meanwhile, Alvarez clocks in at No. 17 in 2022:
No. 17 // #22U22— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 20, 2022
Efrain Alvarez is having his most productive season yet with @LAGalaxy. pic.twitter.com/z0IKYaKGq5
It’s a return to his ranking in 2020, after climbing up to No. 12 in 2021 after sitting at No. 13 in 2019 and debuting at No. 17 in 2018.
The 20-year-old has set a career high in the top flight in minutes played, in addition to goals and assists in league play so far (3G, 4A). In spite of that, he’s started fewer games this year, and he didn’t make a noticeable leap forward in terms of his value for LA this season, and that’s probably why he has dropped down the list a bit.
Still, these two are successful products for the Galaxy Academy and to be counted among the best young players in MLS for a third year running (for Araujo) and fifth year running (for Alvarez) is a nice accomplishment. Congrats to Julian and Efrain on the honors and keep up the hard work!
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