3 Orlando City Player Who Could Break Into Their National Teams

Mar 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Orlando City midfielder Cesar Araujo (5) during the first half
Mar 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Orlando City midfielder Cesar Araujo (5) during the first half / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

It's an international break, even though the Lions are still in action this weekend, and that has me thinking who could be next to make it at the international level for Orlando City?

Sebas Mendez, Facundo Torres and Pedro Gallese are off on international duty this week, but who are the next Lions to put on their country's shirt at the highest levels of the sport?

Thomas Williams

Position: CB

Age: 17

Nation: USA

I'll admit, I had to reach a little bit to find three viable internationals on the roster. Orlando City has several players already on the fringes of their national team, but at an age profile that suggests they'll stay their. Other key contributors, such as Antonio Carlos, represent countries with talent pools so deep that they'd never sniff the national team regardless of performance.

So to start this list, we're going to have to do some projecting. Thomas Williams is among the most talented youth academy prospects in Orlando City's history. He's a tall, left-sided center back with promising technical ability. Young players like that are rare, and especially rare in the USMNT player pool. Williams already has call-ups to the US U-20s at just 17 and could eventually become a full national team player if he develops well with Orlando and the youth teams. This is a long ways away, but a player with his talent definitely has national team potential.

César Araújo

Position: CDM

Age: 20

Nation: Uruguay

César Araújo already has some a call-up to the senior national team and some youth ranks, but he's yet to appear for La Celeste. Araújo looks to be a gifted player at a position that lacks some depth, especially young depth, for Uruguay and if he can continue to play well for Orlando City this year, could potentially break through by the World Cup (assuming Uruguay qualify).

Benji Michel

Position: W

Age: 24

Nation: USA or Haiti

This is a bit of an interesting situation. Benji Michel represented the USMNT U-23s in Olympic qualifying in 2021, but has yet to get a look with the senior national team. With so many high-level wingers in the pool, including Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah, the odds of Michel getting into the mix are low, unless his form improves exponentially.

With that being said, Michel is still eligible to represent Haiti at the senior national team level. He's rejected call-ups in the past, but could eventually choose to represent the Caribbean nation.