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Lion Links: 12/8/15

Orlando City's new home starts to rise, Timbers on top, MLS forgets that it is still 2015 and gets ready for 2016, and more in today's Lion Links!

Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Mane Landers...welcome to Tuesday. The spectacle of the MLS Cup is barely in the distance, however, yesterday saw a number of roster moves in anticipation of today's first ever year of MLS Free Agency. The window opens at 1 p.m., so stay tuned to The Mane Land in case Orlando City makes any moves.

Orlando City's Stadium Starts to Take Shape

It's been a long time coming, but it was announced yesterday that Orlando City fans will soon have something to stare at other than a large hole in the ground at the intersection of Church Street & Terry Street. The stadium drainage will be completed soon, and fans will see the stadium begin to take shape over the next few weeks. The 25,500 seat, $155 million stadium is expected to see rapid growth now that the foundation has been laid, and the expectations are still that the stadium will be ready to host the final two months of the 2016 MLS season.

Portland Timbers' Big Win

Some of us (me) are still basking in the afterglow of Portland's MLS Cup victory Sunday afternoon. The fans showed up in droves to welcome home the Green and Gold, celebrating a team that managed to become the first in Cascadia to bring home the trophy. A huge celebration in Portland is planned for today.

NYCFC Roster Continues to Confuse

In a weird turn of events, it was revealed that defender George John was never an official member of the NYCFC squad. It appears that despite being taken in the Expansion Draft from FC Dallas, John never officially signed or drew a paycheck from City Football Group due to injury. This seems confusing, as he was often a part of its media guide and trained at its complex. In case you have no idea who George John is, he is a part of the Guardian's Memorable Moments of MLS Cups gone by.

MLS announces the 2016 Match Ball

The last remaining MLS 2015 match balls have yet to be deflated; however, MLS and Adidas have already moved on to the next one. So, meet NATIVO, the 2016 MLS match ball, which can be yours for only $160 and would be perfect for that crazy person in your life who can't just be content with last year's ball.

That's all for today folks. Except for this...watch 18-year-old Renato Sanchez of Orlando City partnership club, Benfica, score a golazo from this weekend, and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.