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Lion Links: 4/15/22

Cesar Araujo is adjusting to MLS, Orlando City B adds pair of midfielders, Europa League semifinals set, and more.

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MLS: CF Montreal at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? We’re halfway through April and I’m looking forward to another weekend filled with soccer. Other than enjoying all of the soccer, I’ve been getting plenty of reading done and recently finished Portrait of a Thief and recommend it if you’re a fan of heists. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride Goalkeeping Coach Aline Villares Reis!

Cesar Araujo Adjusting to Differences in MLS

Midfielder Cesar Araujo joined Orlando City this off-season and has started all seven games so far this season. While he’s certainly performed well, Araujo has also picked up four yellow cards and another would hand him a one-game suspension. He’s also the most fouled player in MLS, suffering 25 fouls this year. Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja spoke about how the 21-year-old is adjusting to the league.

“We have found in Cesar a guy with a lot of talent and with a lot of responsibility and he’s adapting to our own code of conduct,” Pareja said. “This is a very demanding league, it has a distinct rhythm and the players that have arrived will continue adapting little by little. He’s doing a good job regarding all that; he’s recognizing how this league is different to where he used to play.”

Pair of Midfielders Join Orlando City B

Orlando City B strengthened its midfield by signing Victor Yan to an MLS NEXT Pro contract. The 21-year-old joins OCB from Santos FC in Brazil, where he made his professional debut at 16 in 2018. Yan also featured for the Brazilian National Team at the youth level, playing in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Midfielder Neicer Acosta also joins OCB after obtaining his international transfer certificate and P-1 visa. Acosta developed in Independiente del Valle‘s academy in Ecuador and helped his team reach the U-20 Copa Libertadores final earlier this year. Acosta is the nephew of Orlando City midfielder Sebas Mendez, according to a social media report by Austin David.

Adam Grinwis Reflects on the Running of the Wall

With Orlando City’s U.S. Open Cup match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies less than a week away, goalkeeper Adam Grinwis spoke about his experience playing for Orlando in the tournament. The most memorable moment from Orlando’s Open Cup history was a quarterfinal match against New York City FC that featured fans sprinting from one end of Exploria Stadium to the other to support Grinwis during a penalty shootout. With Wednesday’s match moved to Exploria Stadium and the rival Rowdies coming to town, the stage is set for another iconic Open Cup match.

FC Barcelona Ousted From the Europa League

Eintracht Frankfurt went on the road and won 3-2 to eliminate Barcelona from the Europa League. Two goals in stoppage time from Barcelona made the match look closer than it was as Frankfurt had a lead for all but four minutes of the match. The best goal of the game came from Rafael Borre as he rifled a shot from distance to double Frankfurt’s lead in the 36th minute.

In the semifinals, Frankfurt will take on West Ham, which cruised to a 3-0 win over Lyon. Extra time was needed to determine a winner between Rangers and SC Braga, with Rangers forward Kemar Roofe scoring the winner. Rangers will face an RB Leipzig side that beat Atalanta 2-0 thanks to a brace from Christopher Nkunku.

After losing to Bodo-Glimt in the group stage and first leg of the quarterfinals, AS Roma exorcised its demons against the Norwegian club in the Europa Conference League. Forward Nicolo Zaniolo had a hat trick as Roma won 4-0 to book its ticket to the semifinals. Roma will face Leicester City, which trailed for most of its match against PSV Eindhoven but scored two late goals to win 2-1. Marseille and Feyenoord also advanced and will square off in the other semifinal.

Free Kicks
  • Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell teased on Twitter that the club’s away kit will be announced soon.

That’s going to be it for today. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend. Go Orlando!