Just two days out from their opening match of the U-20 World Cup, United States head coach Tab Ramos has been forced to make one change to his roster. LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo is joining the team, while Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola is departing due to injury.
For Araujo, this continues his whirlwind year. After making his MLS debut early this season, the California native and dual-national has appeared five teams so far for the Galaxy. His rise up the ranks caused many to consider him one of the biggest surprise omissions from Ramos’ initial roster.
On the other side of the equation, this is heartbreak for Akinola. The TFC youngster was a staple with this team throughout this cycle and was a big part of the U-17 World Cup team before that. This marks a bitter end to his youth national team career as far as World Cups go. There’s still a chance for him to be included with the U-23 team that will attempt to qualify for the Olympics.
The U.S. begin play in the World Cup on Friday against Ukraine at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch the match on FOX Sports 1.