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Orlando City made its first senior signing of the 2022 primary transfer window this Friday, welcoming 20 year-old Uruguayan midfielder César Araújo to the squad from Montevideo Wanderers FC. Let’s get to know the newest member of the Lions:

  • Araújo was born on April 2, 2001 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. He is the second Lion to hail from that city, after Mauricio Pereyra.
  • César is not the first from his family to become a professional soccer player. His older brother Maximiliano, born just 14 months before César, plays both left winger and left back for Puebla of Liga MX and has been capped for Uruguay at the U20 and U23 level.
  • Araújo had a big day on Friday – not only was he announced as an Orlando City player, but he was named to Diego Alonso’s preliminary squad for Uruguay’s CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying games at the end of this month. Araújo is still waiting on his first senior cap, but he has trained with the U20 team.
  • At just 19 years old, Araújo became a staple in the Wanderers XI, playing in 32 games in all competitions in 2021, including the prestigious Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition. Araújo was named the Wanderers Player of the Season for his play.
  • Araújo is known for his playmaking from the deep-lying No. 6 position. In addition to his six career assists, Araújo finished second among U-23 players in South America’s top five leagues in progressive passes completed per 90, according to soccer data firm Sudanalytics.
  • Orlando City signed Araújo using the U22 Initiative, a new budget mechanism introduced by MLS last year in order to help bring more young talent into the league. This program allows Orlando City to greatly reduce his charge on the team’s Salary Budget. Each team is allowed between one and three U22 slots, depending on the use of their Designated Player slots.
  • Araújo is the third player with his last name to join MLS, after Julián Araujo of LA Galaxy and Luiz Araújo of Atlanta United. Wildly, all three pronounce the name differently. Julián is Ah-ROW-ho, Luiz is Ah-rah-OO-jo, and César is Ah-rah-OO-ho.