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Orlando City have completed the signing of midfielder César Araujo from Uruguayan side Montevideo Wanderers.
Araújo will join the Lions as a part of Major League Soccer’s U22 Initiative on a three-year contract with a Club option in 2025, pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
Luis Muzzi's words
“We’re very excited about bringing César to Orlando and having him suit up in purple,” Orlando City executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He’s focused and energetic in the center and we expect that he’ll bolster and strengthen our midfield.”
Araujo played with Montevideo Wanderers from the age of 18
A product of the Wanderers’ youth academy system, Araújo joined Monetevideo’s first team in July of 2019. Since then, the 20-year-old midfielder has provided six assists in 63 appearances across all competitions with the Uruguayan club, including appearances in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.
The Montevideo native was named as the Wanderers’ Player of the Year in 2021 as a result of his play and also earned a nomination for the Premios AUF Best XI this season.
The youngster should help Oscar Pareja's men connect defense to attack, with Araujo at his best as a deep-lying midfielder, progressing the ball forward with his precision passing. He'll also add plenty of defensive bite alongside Jr Urso and Jhegson Mendez.
Araujo has just been called up to the Uruguayan national team
Though uncapped at any level, Araujo has been involved in several training camps with the Uruguay Under-20 national team. On the same day as he completed his transfer to Orlando, the midfielder also received his first call-up to La Celeste Olímpica's senior team, making the reserve list for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Venezuela.
Orlando have suffered a number of high-profile departures this winter with USMNT striker Daryl Dike joining West Bromwich Albion and Chris Mueller moving to Hibernian. Uri Rosell has re-joined Sporting Kansas City while Nani has ended his three-year stay in Florida.
Araujo represents the club's first major incoming as they prepare for the 2022 MLS season - their first match is at home to CF Montreal on February 27.
Name: César Araújo
Born: April 2, 2001 in Montevideo, Uruguay
Hometown: Montevideo, Uruguay