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Lion Links: 12/9/15

Enjoy today's Lion Links, where we look at Orlando Pride players, officiating, German soccer, and more.

Rich Lam/Getty Images

The MLS Cup hangover is dissipating, and we're now entering the dreaded off-season. The off-season is a time filled with rumors, roster adjustments, and second guessing. Sure, it can get exciting when something involves Orlando City, but for the most part it's a season of speculation and discussion.

While we'd all rather be watching the men and women in purple playing games, apparently, they can't play as often and regularly as we can watch. Slackers. So we're left with a few months of talk. But don't be discouraged, and let The Mane Land be your guide during these dark times.

Pride Sign Monica Hickmann Alves

Prior to yesterday, the Orlando Pride had enough players on the roster where they could put 11 on the field (with many out of position) and have a backup keeper. That's it. There was nary a field player on the bench. Obviously, they were likely to make more moves, and the first of those came yesterday when the team signed Brazilian defender Monica Hickmann Alves. Obviously, there is still further work to be done before we know how the team will ultimately look, but it's possible that Alves has already wrapped up the talent contest.

Kaylyn Kyle Not On Canadian Roster

Speaking of Pride players, Canada announced the roster for the International Tournament of Natal and Kaylyn Kyle is not on it. This isn't really surprising, considering her Twitter feed shows her in Mexico and the tournament starts tomorrow. It's possible that she just turned down an offer, or that coach John Herdman wanted to go with a younger team, but considering the problems surrounding the pitches in the women's game recently, I'm not too torn up about one of our players missing a few international games.

FIFA Refereeing Head Discusses Men's and Women's Soccer

In what has to be considered a tremendously rare find, we've managed to uncover an article about a FIFA official actually discussing soccer. FIFA refereeing head Massimo Busacca discusses the challenges that referees face while working elite games today. Everybody (myself included) loves to criticize referees, but the reality is that they have a tremendously difficult job. The article linked above is fairly short, but quite interesting in the way it discusses their preparation.

Poor Form from German Soccer

Remember the video of the German goalkeeper that sabotaged the penalty spot a few days back (and unfortunately, the video has been pulled because lawyers hate everything fun)? Well, it looks like that "save" will cost him more than just his reputation as he's been fined for his actions. Also in Germany, Fortuna Düsseldorf midfielder Kerem Demirbay was suspended for derogatory comments about a female referee that gave him a red card. Though credit to the club for adding to the punishment by making him referee a girls' game.

That's it for today, Mane Landers! Oh, fine, I'll leave you with one more. As a Barcelona fan, it pains me to post this, but credit where credit is due. Watch Cristiano Ronaldo score four goals in the Champions League. Now I feel dirty.