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Lion Links: 2/5/15

Lots of Orlando City Youth Soccer players commit on National Signing Day, new wrinkles to the U.S. Open Cup, Klinsmann runs his mouth, and more in your Thursday morning Lion Links.

Orlando City SC

Good morning! It's a shame yesterday's Orlando City SC win over FC Dallas wasn't televised because it was a lot of fun to watch.

The next best thing, I suppose, would be to link you to:

Our full game recap,

The match photo gallery, and

The video of Kaká's penalty kick goal.

That ought to start off your Thursday the right way (even if you saw all of this yesterday).

Let's get to your Thursday morning Lion Links. Enjoy them with a side of bacon. (Mmmmm, bacon.)

Congrats to 30+ Orlando City Youth Players

We want to extend a big Mane Land congratulations to the more than 30 student athletes in the Orlando City Youth Soccer program, who committed yesterday to play at more than 25 colleges and universities. Playing soccer is cool. Getting an education is even cooler. Doing both? Well, now you're just showing off. Well done, everyone. William Crawford, our resident youth soccer expert, will have more on yesterday's commitments in his Saturday column.

U.S. Open Cup Gets Some New Wrinkles

Orlando City will participate in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament as an MLS squad for the first time in 2015. That means a free pass into Round 4. A record 91 teams will take part this year, up 11 from the 80 that competed in 2014 and there are some changes coming to the format. Among the important changes: a geographically-based random draw will determine the round of 16 matches and set a fixed bracket to the final. It should give it more of a "March Madness" feel.

What the Hell, Jurgen?

Listen, it's perfectly fine to have an opinion about something. But if you're going to articulate that opinion in a public forum, you should probably check your facts to see if your position holds any water. Jurgen Klinsmann set soccer Twitter on fire yesterday (not that it takes much) with comments about the lack of fitness of his USMNT players based in MLS. Our sister blog, Stars and Stripes FC, was more than happy to set Klinsmann straight on a few facts. I like Klinsy, personally, but lately the results are terrible and his rhetoric is tiresome. Do better, Jurgen.

Beckham Still Without a Stadium; He Can Use FIU Though

The saga of David Beckham's Miami MLS dreams continues, as the former star midfielder has yet to bend South Florida officials to his will when it comes to building a soccer stadium. County commissioners did, however, agree that Florida International University would make a nice temporary home or Beckham's mythical future team. The down side is that no one in Beckham's camp has actually accepted playing at FIU as a thing yet. Beckham's search for a soccer stadium goes on. I think they should just find a place on South Beach and build a "nightclub" that just happens to have 20,000 seats and a soccer pitch.

That's all I've got for you today, peeps. Have a great Thursday.