Julian Araujo, Emiliano Insua, Cristian Pavon, and Efrain Alvarez all nominated for MLS Awards. But it’s Araujo who’s star is on the rise.
Major League Soccer announced nominations for their end-of-season awards on Wednesday while also tweaking their Rookie of the Year award.
The LA Galaxy have four players mentioned in the nominations, with each team able to put forth their nominations for the position. However, a nomination does not necessarily mean that the players will make the list of finalists.
Cristian Pavon is listed for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, along with nearly 50 other MLS players. And while Pavon was once considered a finalist for this award after the Galaxy’s four-game winning streak coming out of the MLS is Back bubble, his form has since slipped. The Argentine has struggled to find the back of the net and hasn’t taken over a game nor hauled the Galaxy onto his back in several weeks. He’s unlikely to be considered for the MVP of the league. But he’ll probably win the Galaxy’s team MVP award later this season.
However, 19-year-old Julian Araujo is the Galaxy’s top nominee. Araujo was nominated for AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year (replaces Rookie of the Year) — along with Efrain Alvarez — MLS Defender of the Year, and MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year.
Araujo could be considered a finalist for the Young Player of the Year award and should definitely be considered a likely-finalist for the Humanitarian of the Year with his dedication to helping farmworkers near and in his hometown of Lompoc. His defender of the year nomination, however — something he shares with teammate Emiliano Insua — seems completely unlikely, even while he’s been the best defender on the Galaxy this year.
For his part, Insua is also nominated for the MLS Newcomer of the Year.
Araujo is the Galaxy’s best chance at winning any of these awards, and it highlights the impact the defender has had on the Galaxy this year. He’s started and played in 13 games this season, amassing one goal, three assists, and more than 1,000 minutes. And while he’s been bouncing between playing in the midfield and at right-back, he’s clearly the defender of the future for the club.
The only thing that could stop Araujo from being a Galaxy player for a very long time is what will happen when Europe comes calling — something that could happen as soon as this winter.
Voting begins on October 29 and ends on November 9, with finalists for each award announced on November 11.
Players, media, and technical staff from each club will vote for each category. All three of those groups will comprise one-third of the vote.