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Lion Links: 8/23/22

Cesar Araujo honored for his performance in Charlotte, Ally Watt’s immediate impact for the Orlando Pride, new deal in the works for Brandon Vazquez, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Charlotte FC Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Forgive me if this is an incoherent mess of a morning links column. At the time of this writing, it is pretty late Monday night and I drove home from Charlotte from morning until mid-afternoon and, upon my return, did three loads of laundry, took all the trash out from the house, dragged it down to the curb for Tuesday morning pickup, and loaded the dishwasher. I also recorded, edited, and wrote the post for a podcast for another venture outside of The Mane Land. None of this is your problem and none of it makes me superhuman, although I’m OK with it if you think of me that way from now on.

All of the above was made much easier by the fact that all of the Orlando City SC teams got results for the second consecutive week — the Lions and Pride both won, while OCB claimed both a win and a draw.

Let’s get to the news of the day.

Araujo Honored for Performance in Charlotte

As is becoming the norm, when Orlando City wins, the league throws the Lions a bone and puts a player on the bench for the latest MLS Team of the Week. Every once in a blue moon, a City player might even make the first team. Cesar Araujo made the bench this week for a commanding performance Sunday night against Charlotte FC. Junior Urso and Facundo Torres were potential candidates as well but simply did not get the love. With five tackles, an interception, a clearance, a 100% passing rate (!) on 40 attempts, 2/2 accurate long balls, and one foul drawn without committing any, it’s clear that the first team was a more suitable TotW spot for the impressive young midfielder. If I seem biased, it’s only because I actually watch him play every week.

At least Charles Boehm was paying attention, naming Araujo to this week’s “best young player performers” for Week 26.

Pride’s Ally Watt Gets What She Wants

New Orlando Pride forward Ally Watt scored on her debut with her new team and that goal ended up being Saturday night’s game-winner over Gotham FC. Watt said after the match that all she wanted to do was make an impact right away and she could hardly have aced that test any more emphatically than she did. Check out the video clip to hear what she had to say.

FC Cincinnati Reportedly Set to Reward Brandon Vazquez

With the success Brandon Vazquez has had since joining FC Cincinnati — and the club’s success this season — the southwest Ohio side has reportedly agreed with the striker on a new deal that could keep the former Atlanta United man in Cincinnati through 2026. Vazquez’s form this year has him in the discussion for potential USMNT call-ups ahead of the September friendlies. If all goes well there, he could even be on the World Cup roster.

World Stunned as Manchester United Plays Actual Soccer

After a miserable start to the English Premier League season, the Red Devils finally got their first win for Eric ten Hag and it came at the expense of rival Liverpool. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford gave Manchester United a 2-0 lead and the Red Devils hung on to win, 2-1. Not only did Manchester United defeat one of its most bitter EPL rivals, but the club also jumped over the Reds in the table. You can find both teams if you look way down toward the bottom. Ten Hag said it was a change in attitude and spirit that led to United’s win. I remain unconvinced. United always gets up for a rival team, but show me a lopsided victory over the kind of mediocre/bad club that has been routinely getting results against Man United in recent years and maybe I’ll buy it.

While we’re on the subject of United, Casemiro said his move to Manchester is not driven by money.

Free Kicks

That’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope your Tuesday is much less tiring than my Monday was.