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Lion Links: 6/30/15

Larin's Rookie of the Week nod, Tally Hall's play, OCSC and the transfer window, Orlando's pitch affecting a Copa América Centenario bid, Orlando City U-15/16 players winning end of the year awards and U.S. Open Cup schedule conflicts make Tuesday's Lion Links.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers.

We're still riding the wave of good vibes coming off the heels of a 2-0 Orlando City win over Colorado. For some of you that have the Friday before the Fourth of July off, you're probably riding another wave of good vibes this week. Use the extra time to get ready for the Lions' game against Real Salt Lake.

Without any further delay, here are today's Lion Links:

Larin Named SBI MLS Rookie of the Week

The accolades continue for Cyle Larin. During a year that has included a Goal of the Week nomination and a spot on the Canadian National Team, Larin has continued to meet the expectations lofted on the first overall pick. This week, the forward was named SBI MLS Rookie of Week. In Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Colorado, Larin logged in 69 minutes, had two shots on goal and a goal at the 62nd minute. During this season, Larin has scored six goals in 13 games.

Tally Hall's Play Catching Heath's Eye

When Orlando City made the move from USL to MLS, one of the first major moves the team made was a trade with the Houston Dynamo for Tally Hall. While the goalkeeper missed 10 games due to an ACL injury, he has made an instant impact during his time on the pitch this year. In seven games, Hall has 21 saves and a 4-1-2 record. Hall’s play has gotten the attention of head coach Adrian Heath, who sees the correlation between the success of the team and the goalkeeper's play.

"I don't think it's coincidence that we've had a run of good form with him back there," Heath said. "I can't think of one game where I've thought he's a bit rusty, or 'OK, he's just come in.' It's like he'd never been away."
Lions Preparing to Make Moves During Transfer Window

While the Lions are playing well, they will look to further improve the squad during the transfer window that begins July 8. We thought the club would have decisions to make about Seb Hines and Martin Paterson, whose club loans expire at the end of June, but both players signed multi-year MLS contracts when they agreed to join the team. Oh, and the ever-prevalent rumors of Chicharito are still there.

Orlando’s Pitch a Hindrance in Hosting Copa América Centenario?

53,629 fans packed the Citrus Bowl for Saturday’s friendly between Mexico and Costa Rica. The sides drew 2-2 and the overall event -- from the city’s environment to the practice facilities -- were well received by both teams.

Well, mostly everything.

Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera was not pleased with the playing surface at the Citrus Bowl. The grass was laid out specifically for the game, with trucks containing the grass parked outside the Citrus Bowl after Wednesday night’s game between Colorado and Orlando City. While everything else seemed to go well for a city looking to host next year’s Copa América Centenario, the playing surface seems to be the final key to locking down the bid.

"If they fix the field, yes it'd be a good place," Herrera said in Spanish. "... The stadium is pretty. … It's a very good stadium and a very good area."
Orlando City U-15/16 players honored by U.S. Soccer

As U.S. Soccer Development Academy announced quarterfinal match ups for the U-15/16 playoffs, players from the Eastern, Central and Western Conferences were recognized with end of the year awards. Two Orlando City players were acknowledged, as defender Jonathan Rosales and midfielder Raul Aguilera made the Eastern Conference team. Orlando City tied the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls for most players on the Eastern Conference team.

Schedule Conflicts a Problem For U.S. Open Cup Teams?

So you’re an MLS team in the U.S. Open Cup, but you’ve got the opportunity to play a game against a more prestigious (and profitable) team, such as Chelsea, FC Barcelona or Manchester United on the same day. What do you do? Well, if you’re New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy or San Jose Earthquakes, you take the the overseas opponents, apparently. The three MLS teams will play in the International Champions Cup July 11 through August 5. Los Angeles’ contest against FC Barcelona and San Jose’s match against Manchester United will take place July 21, while New York will face Chelsea July 22. Both dates are U.S. Open Cup dates, which has led the Washington Post’s Steven Goff to wonder if MLS teams should be forced to forfeit those games. While the U.S. Soccer Federation does get a portion of the proceeds, they can’t be too happy with games being scheduled on the day of the Open Cup. The USSF said they are currently reviewing the situation.

Have a great Tuesday, Orlando!