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Lion Links: 4/28/22

Orlando City gets ready for Charlotte FC, Orlando City B match postponed, USMNT to host Uruguay, and more.

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

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers! The beautiful game returns to Exploria Stadium on Saturday for Orlando City’s fifth home game in April across all competitions. Where will you watch the Lions? Let us know in the comments after you enjoy today’s links.

Orlando City Prepares for Charlotte FC

In the first meeting between the two clubs, Orlando City will play against Charlotte FC this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Charlotte sits in eighth in the Eastern Conference after nine games in its inaugural season. Designated Player Karol Swiderski has four goals and an assist so far this season while MLS SuperDraft pick Ben Bender has contributed three assists as well.

Orlando City defensive midfielder César Araujo has done well for the Lions and appeared in MLSSoccer.com‘s tiered list of 22 Under 22 candidates. Tom Bogert praised the 21-year-old’s performance so far this year.

“Cesar Araujo has been a pleasant surprise for me this year. It shouldn’t be surprising an Uruguay youth international is playing MLS minutes and playing well, but that midfield group he broke into is so crowded. DP Junior Urso, Ecuador international Jhegson Mendez and one-time US international Andres Perea are all competing for minutes in Orlando. He’s recorded more minutes than all of them, starting all nine of the Lions’ games.”

Orlando City B Game Postponed

Rochester New York FC’s home opener against Orlando City B scheduled for tomorrow was postponed until July 1 because Rochester’s pitch is not yet ready for play. As a result, OCB’s next match will be on May 16 on the road against Philadelphia Union II. Rochester explained why the match was postponed in this thread:

USMNT To Play Uruguay on June 5

The United States Men’s National Team will host Uruguay in a friendly on June 5 at Sporting Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Park. After playing Morocco on June 1 in Cincinnati and Uruguay, the USMNT will start defending its Concacaf Nations League crown when it faces Grenada in Austin on June 10 and El Salvador in San Salvador on June 14.

Seattle Sounders Draw With Pumas in Champions League

In the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League final, the Seattle Sounders battled back to draw 2-2 with Pumas UNAM in Mexico. Juan Ignacio Dinenno converted a penalty in the first half and scored again in the second to give Pumas a 2-0 lead. The Sounders then received a pair of penalty kicks late in the game, the first in the 77th minute and the second deep in stoppage time. Nicolas Lodeiro scored twice from the spot and the Sounders will head back to Seattle level with their Liga MX opponent. Away goals aren’t a tiebreaker in the final, but the Sounders are still in a good position ahead of the second leg on Wednesday.

Liverpool Wins First Leg of UCL Semifinal

A Villarreal own goal and a Sadio Mané strike within a span of two minutes in the second half handed Liverpool a 2-0 win in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals. The two sides will face off in the second leg in Spain next Tuesday as Liverpool chases a potential “quadruple” of winning the English Premier League title, the Champions League crown, the English FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup. The winner of this semifinal will face either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final on May 28.

Free Kicks

Thanks for joining us for today’s links. Let’s get ready to rumble on Saturday night. Vamos Orlando!