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Lion Links: 1/10/22

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Learn more about César Araújo, Daryl Dike’s transfer a win for all parties, transfer rumors continue to swirl, and more.

SOCCER: NOV 07 MLS - Orlando City SC at CF Montreal Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! How is the new year treating everyone? Is the new piece of exercise equipment a clothes hanger yet? Are you participating in “dry January?” How long did your resolutions last this year? Why am I asking you so many questions? I’m not sure, but feel free to answer below. Let’s get to the links.

Getting to Know César Araújo

There was a giant sigh of relief from the Orlando City faithful following the signing of César Araújo. After weeks of rumors connecting the Lions with other players, Araújo ended up as the club’s first signing of the off-season. But, who is César Araújo? The 20-year-old Uruguayan midfielder left Montevideo Wanderers FC in Uruguay’s top flight for the City Beautiful, and is the typical No. 6 the Lions need to bolster the defense following the departures of Uri Rosell and Raul Aguilera Jr. Orlando signed him as part of the relatively new MLS U22 Initiative and you can learn more about that here.

Meanwhile, the rumored Facundo Torres saga has gone on longer than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The deal is reportedly reaching its conclusion though, so hopefully Orlando will officially sign him this week. We also have the MLS SuperDraft to look forward to tomorrow as the Lions will aim to bring more young talent to Orlando.

Orlando City Reportedly Interested in Allocation List

The Lions may be looking to take over the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order that Inter Miami CF acquired from Charlotte FC yesterday in exchange for young defender Christian Makoun.

There are some interesting names on the allocation list, including those mentioned above. While talented, the player the Lions are after would need to fill a need for the team as well. Ruan’s presence would complicate a move for DeAndre Yedlin while Mauricio Pereyra’s role in the midfield would force a player like Pity Martinez to play out wide. The player to keep an eye on on the list is former Lion Yoshimar Yotun, who was linked with a return to Orlando earlier in the off-season. The 31-year-old has enough versatility to play all over the pitch and could be an option at left back considering Emmanuel Mas’ departure and Joao Moutinho’s injury history.

Dike Makes the Grade

Although Daryl Dike’s permanent move to West Bromwich Albion is bittersweet for Orlando City supporters, the forward’s transfer is a win for all parties involved. Dike heads to England with a chance to reach the English Premier League, West Brom receives a talented striker to help its struggling offense, and Orlando City earns a hefty transfer fee to spend during the off-season. Of course, this means the Lions need to replace their top scorer and Head Coach Óscar Pareja knows this will be a challenge.

Other MLS Transfer Reports Continue to Surface

Orlando City isn’t the only club signing and transferring players. Diego Valeri might be leaving the Portland Timbers according to reports that he will return to Lanus in Argentina. The 35-year-old has been in MLS since 2013 and helped the Timbers win MLS Cup in 2015. The curious part is that he is signed through 2022.

The LA Galaxy are reportedly targeting French club Montpellier’s captain, attacking midfielder Téji Savanier. Charlotte FC’s second-ever signing was Riley McGree. He may now be their first transfer outside of MLS. If the 23-year-old does transfer, it will reportedly be to Celtic FC in the Scottish Premier League where he will face off against former Lion Chris Mueller at Hibernian FC. Canadian goalkeeper Sebastian Breza will play for CF Montreal again after being loaned to the MLS club from Bologna FC 1909 for the 2022 season.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today. Have a great Monday as we get this week started!