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Lion Links: 5/22/15

Molino undergoes successful surgery, U.S. Open Cup draw, OCSC relives its demolition of LA, Planet Fútbol goes inside Orlando City, Luís Figo drops out of the FIFA race, and a French striker is linked with MLS in Friday's Lion Links.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Friday has arrived, and with it the prospect of a three-day weekend ahead. Plus, Orlando City takes on San Jose on Sunday, so it kind of feels like Friday on steroids.

Monday will provide a nice recovery day following your post-match celebratory drinks, which is not usually a luxury afforded to us for Sunday evening matches. Speaking of recovery, injured Lions midfielder Kevin Molino started his road to recovery last week when he underwent successful surgery to repair the torn ACL he suffered in the friendly against Ponte Preta. Here's to a swift and successful rehabilitation for one of the original Lions.

To the Lion Links...

Orlando Awaits Ft. Lauderdale or Charleston in U.S. Open Cup

The fourth round drawing for the U.S. Open Cup took place last night, and Orlando City now knows that it will either face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers or the Charleston Battery in its next cup match on June 17, depending on the result of the match between the aforementioned teams on May 27. Our Michael Citro delved deeper into the Lions' potential opponents last night in this piece.


If you haven't gotten tired of watching highlights from Orlando's 4-0 demolition of LA from Sunday – and you probably haven't – then this well-produced video from the club's official site will interest you. After watching it myself, I can confirm that it's still just as fun.

Lions Experiencing Up-and-Down Nature of Expansion Season

Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol wrote about the ups and downs that OCSC has been experiencing in its inaugural season in Major League Soccer, and it is quite an interesting read. Expansion teams in MLS have historically had to go through a lot of trial and error on their way to building competitive teams in America's top tier of soccer, and this year hasn't been any different for the Lions.

There is a lot of good stuff in this piece from Adrian Heath among others, and there's also this tidbit regarding the club's ongoing link to Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.

"People at our club spoke to his people and I think where that goes, obviously he [played last week] in the Champions League semifinal, so that puts in perspective what we're talking about," Heath said. "I don't think there's a team, an ambitious club in MLS, who wouldn't be interested in talking to Chicharito. I'd put us in that mix."

Be sure to give it a read.

Figo Resigns from FIFA Presidential Race

If you've kept up with current events regarding FIFA at all, you've probably figured out that current FIFA President Sepp Blatter is the worst. With an election upcoming, Luís Figo has now followed the lead of Michael van Praag and removed his name from the race to replace Blatter in order to back his lone remaining opposition, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan.

To announce his resignation, Figo released a scathing statement via the Associated Press, which can be read here. If you missed the hour-long examination of Blatter and his corrupted past by E:60's Jeremy Schaap last week, you can find it in its entirety here.

French Striker Cissé Expresses Interest in Possible MLS Move

France international striker Djibril Cissé, who currently plays for SC Bastia in Ligue 1 but is best known from his time on the UEFA Champions League winning Liverpool side of 2005, has told French media that he has had offers from American clubs and thinks it would be "cool" to play in MLS.

"Clubs still think of me. There are a lot of offers from the USA. India too. I have two or three things in Poland and some which are a little funky, but the USA would be cool."

It's somewhat surprising that Orlando City has not been frivolously linked with Cissé since the club seems to be arbitrarily thrown into the mix with any European striker mentioned in the same breath as MLS. The 33-year-old Cissé has totaled almost 250 goals in his club career, but hasn't registered more than six in any of the last six seasons.

Enjoy the long weekend, Lions!