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Lion Links: 7/20/15

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Looking back on a controversial loss to the Red Bulls, Orlando City appealing Larin's red card, a video of that awesome tifo from Saturday and more in your Monday morning Lion Links

J.D. Casto, The Mane Land

This isn't a pep talk Orlando City fans. Because you don't need one.

All you need to know is that next weekend, the Lions will head to the Bronx to take on New York City FC, North American soccer's equivalent of that rich kid down the street who gets to spend all of daddy's money. And it looks like they're is going to be unveiling some shiny new toys against Orlando, as Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo are set to make their MLS debuts.

So that anger you're feeling right now, that frustration with the questionable officiating the Lions have endured during their last couple games? Just channel that towards reminding NYCFC that a successful club is built not bought and that nothing can stop the purple hurricane that is descending on New York City this week..at least until Kaká is sent off three minutes in for breathing on David Villa.

So, to help you get ready for battle, here are your Monday morning Lion Links.

Recapping Saturday's Loss to NYRB

For the third week in a row, Orlando City found themselves on the wrong side of some questionable officiating, as a first half red card to Cyle Larin completely changed the complexion of the match. RBNY scored early and late to bookend a 2-0 victory over the Lions, as Orlando emerges from a two-game home stand with absolutely nothing to show for it. The good news is that Orlando City remains in playoff position this week and still controls its own destiny in that department.

As always, The Mane Land is your go-to source for coverage of Saturday's clash with the Red Bulls, featuring...

Orlando City to Appeal Larin Red Card

Club president Philip Rawlins tweeted on Sunday morning that Orlando City planned to appeal the red card issued to Cyle Larin during Saturday's loss to the Red Bulls.

Larin was sent off in the 32nd minute for this studs-up challenge on Sacha Kljestan that sent the RBNY midfielder (and his mustache) tumbling in the air. It was, to be generous, a slightly "dramatic" reaction from Kljestan. See for yourself:

It's important to remember that MLS appeals work a little different than those in most other North American sports leagues.

Each club is allowed two unsuccessful red card appeals throughout the season. If Orlando's appeal is successful, then it doesn't count against their total, Larin can play next week against NYCFC, and everyone goes home happy. If their appeal is rejected, then it does count against their total and Larin is still out.

But, if the appeal not only fails but is deemed "frivolous" by the MLS officials who review it, then Orlando loses the right to make red card appeals for two years, they're fined $250,000 and Larin's suspension will be doubled. Yikes.

Be sure to check back with The Mane Land for the result of Orlando City's appeal and reaction to the decision.

The Wall Unveils "Holy Trinity" Tifo Against Red Bulls

Flavio, Inchy and Phil Rawlins, in case it wasn't clear. Nice work, as always, from the best fans in MLS.

Drogba Wants Montreal for MLS Move

Maybe he just wants to keep wearing blue.

With Didier Drogba eyeing a move to MLS, several teams have reportedly been in the running for his services. But reports out of Canada indicate that the Ivory Coast legend might be most interested in a move to Montreal.

While the Impact are currently sitting outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, they're the only MLS team to play in a city where Drogba's native language, French, is primarily spoken. The Francophone environment reportedly appeals to Drogba, who has spent the last several seasons playing everywhere from Shanghai to Turkey and England.

A legend in both the Premier League and the international game, Drogba has scored 104 goals over two stints with Chelsea and has been capped 104 times with Ivory Coast. He would be the latest European star to make the jump to MLS, and another coup for a league trying to gain more international recognition.

USMNT Ends Diplomatic Relations with Cuba in 6-0 Rout

The USMNT dispatched Cuba 6-0 on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

It was a scoreline unlike anything seen in the knockout round of the tournament (literally, it was the biggest blowout post-group stage in Gold Cup history), as the United States took advantage of a shorthanded Cuba squad to move within two wins of a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Clint Dempsey got the party started just four minutes in, en route to his first ever international hat trick. While Dempsey was responsible for 50% of the final scoreline, he was joined by Aron Jóhannsson, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzales, as the United States cruised past a Cuba team that shocked many in advancing past the group stage.

Several Cuban players defected throughout the tournament, including starting forward Ariel Martinez, as Leones del Caribe were forced to make do with the players they had against the USMNT. To put it simply, it would not be enough.

The USMNT will face Jamaica in the semifinals of the tournament on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the Gold Cup Final in Philadelphia.

Zlatan Returning to AC Milan, According to Reports

More accurately, AC Milan announces they'll be returning to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish international, long-considered one of the best football players of his generation (especially by himself), could be headed back to Serie A at the end of the summer, if a report from Italian journalist Alfredo Pedullà is to be believed.

The 33-year old Ibrahimovic has enjoyed a rather nomadic career across Europe, but he had perhaps his greatest success playing in Milan, where he scored an astounding 28 goals in 33 appearances during the 2011-2012 season.

That's it for Lion Links today. Have a good week everybody!