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Lion Links: 7/6/15

The USWNT gets it done, Orlando City draws with Real Salt Lake, the Lions look to build on their youth, and more in your Monday morning Lion Links.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, it's the Monday after a holiday weekend. Blech.

But hey, at least you get to go to work today knowing the U.S. is now a three-time champion in the FIFA Women's World Cup. Let's get to your Monday Morning Lion Lloyd Links:

The USWNT Wins the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup

In case you missed it, America's running the game

In one of the most remarkable games in U.S. soccer history, the United States Women's National Team dismantled Japan, 5-2 in front of over 53,000 fans in Vancouver. It was a revenge game for the USWNT, as they looked to bounce back from  a 2011 WWC final loss to Japan, but it didn't feel that way. Because this game was a celebration.

Carli Lloyd got the party started within minutes, scoring off a corner played on the ground from Megan Rapinoe. Only two minutes later, it was Lloyd tapping in a Julie Johnston deflection to put the Americans up 2-0. When Lauren Holiday rifled in a one-timer off an ill-advised defensive clearance from Japan, it was 3-0 for the U.S. and the American Outlaws in attendance must have felt like they were dreaming.

But then this happened.

Japan made things interesting with two goals of their own, but a Tobin Heath laser in the second half put the game away for the Americans. About 30 minutes later, the celebration was on in Vancouver.

It was the first World Cup title for the USWNT since 1999, and the first for Abby Wambach in her career. Carli Lloyd will also go home with the fastest hat trick in World Cup history, scoring three in just 15 minutes, as well as the tournament's Golden Ball and the Silver Boot trophies.

Recapping Saturday's Draw Against Real Salt Lake

On paper, Saturday's 1-1 result against a depleted Real Salt Lake squad doesn't look like anything to write home about. But after a quick Orlando City goal in the fourth minute, this match was pretty much dominated by RSL, and a red card issued to Kaká in the 45th minute did nothing to help matters.

Reduced to 10 men, the Lions did well to hang on for a point at Rio Tinto Stadium and put themselves in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference. Be sure to check out The Mane Land's wall-to-wall coverage of the RSL game, featuring...

Lions Continue to Build Youth Academy

Last week's announcement that Orlando City will look to establish a local USL team for next season points to a stronger commitment towards building the club's youth system.

In a recent Orlando Sentinel feature, Paul Tenorio spoke with several members of the club's academy about how the Lions are building for the future. With their inaugural MLS campaign well underway, Orlando City has turned their attention from building an MLS roster to constructing their youth system, and they've called on big-time college coaches to help them do it.

Tenorio speaks with former North Carolina assistant Jeff Negalha and former Elon head coach Darren Powell, both of whom have joined the Lions academy during their first MLS season. General Manager Paul McDonough's hands-on approach to building the Lions' academy is also apparent, as well as the advantage the club hopes to gain from having their own OCSC2-type club in Orlando.

Orlando City Linked to Polish Striker Lukasz Gikiewicz

Well, this is...interesting.

According to a report from EuroSport, Orlando City is looking at the possibility of bringing in Lukasz Gikiewicz who most recently played at Bulgarian club PFC Levski Sofia.

The 27-year-old Gikiewicz is a well-traveled player, and the fact that so many clubs have let him go certainly raises some questions. But he could provide the Lions with depth at striker, a position where Orlando has been rather thin with Cyle Larin on Gold Cup duty and Bryan Rochez still unable to break in with the first team.

Here are some highlights from Gikiewicz, so you can decide for yourself if this a guy Orlando City look to pursue. It's worth a watch for the epic music alone.

That's it for Lion Links today. Congratulations to the United States Women's National Team!