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Lion Links: 11/21/15

Pride's possible ties to Adrianna Franch, USWNT Olympic qualifying, bird abuse, and more, all in today's Lion Links

Lars Kaletta/Getty Images

What is more exciting than another world soccer tournament? Nothing. As the club slows down for the season, the country gears up as they prepare for a new year. Are the Olympics here yet? Not quite, but these Lion Links are.

Adrianna Franch Heading back to the NWSL?

Rumors of goalkeeper Adrianna Franch's return to the National Women's Soccer League, following her season-ending injury, have been circulating for the past week. Franch, a top goalkeeper in the NWSL, and a potential United States National Team star, was playing for the Western New York Flash when she tore her ACL. Following her injury, she made a career move to the Norwegian Toppserien club, Alvaldsnes IL. The Orlando Pride is rumored to be linked with Franch, and could possibly hold the rights to her as a player. This raises a few eyebrows, as the Pride already has two quality goalkeepers. Could there be a trade brewing?

USWNT to Begin CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

This coming Monday, the current world champions will learn their opponents for the upcoming CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. The draw will be held at the InterContinental Doral in Miami, and will be streamed live at There are currently eight teams set for the draw, which will be split into two groups of four for group play, and then will move into championship style play. The tournament will be played Feb. 10-21 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX and BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX. This draw is crucial for current defending world champions, the United States, as they attempt to become the first team in the history of women's soccer to win the World Cup and the Olympics in consecutive years.

Man Arrested in the U.K. for trying to punch Kayla the Bald Eagle

Friday afternoon, police arrested a man for attempting to punch Crystal Palace's bald eagle mascot this past September. The Charlton Athletic mascot was seen flying above the stadium when riots broke out in London and Kent. The 34-year-old man was arrested at his home and taken into custody, where he still remains.

Speaking of soccer animals...

Seven-Foot Gator Invades Parkland Field

Early Friday morning, a Parkland, FL, parks and recreation employee stumbled upon an alligator on the soccer field at Pine Trails Park near the local elementary school. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Research Institute was called on site, where they taped the alligator's mouth shut and lassoed its tail to immobilize the animal. The alligator was taken off the premises by a state-licensed trapper, and will either be euthanized or put back into the wild. At the moment, supervisors are most concerned that the animal might come back. Yeah, that would concern me, too.

Local College Tournament Roundup

In the 2015 Women's College Cup tournament, No. 1 ranked, Florida State University defeated South Alabama, 5-0 and Florida beat William & Mary, 5-2, as both Florida schools advanced to the Sweet 16. The Seminoles face Auburn next, while the Gators face Duke...The Rollins College Men's team were knocked out of the Division II tournament in the Sweet 16 by fellow Florida school Palm Beach Atlantic, by a score of 6-1... Finally, Eastern Florida State College advance to the finals of the National Junior College Championship with a 2-1 victory over Monroe College in double-overtime. The final will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday, at Titan Soccer Complex in Melbourne, FL -- the future home of Orlando City B.

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And that will do it for today's Lion Links, for club and country. Countdown to the Olympics begins Monday!