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Lion Links: 1/1/16

Happy New Year's Birthday, Bryan Rochez! Plus Eastern Conference bold predictions, U.S Women's soccer year in review, Women's National team roster named, this Weekend in the EPL, plus you're not as cool as Jack Butland!

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year, Mane Landers! Only 64 days until the 2016 season begins, but we'll try to keep you informed and entertained until then.

Happy Birthday Bryan Rochez!

Orlando City forward and Honduran National team player, Bryan Rochez, turns 21 today! The birthday boy was Orlando City's third leading scorer with three on the year. His first was a breakaway in the 3-1 win over Sporting K.C. Then there was the late strike for the 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire, and finally the the give and go from Kaká at the end of regulation in the 5-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. It was a great September for Bryan, and we hope he has a great day today!

Five Bold Eastern Conference Predictions

Let's start off looking ahead. In my opinion there were only four bold predictions in this article, and one "well, duh" prediction. See if you can guess to which I'm referring. Will Toronto FC live up to the their potential? Will Montreal take a step back? Why are we talking so much about the Canadians? The New York City Red Bulls will evidently continue to thrive, and the lowly Chicago Fire will make the playoffs! That's not just bold, it's spicy!

2015 Women's soccer review

Let's get more specific. This was undoubtedly a big year for women's soccer. We had the World Cup, where the U.S. National Team won the final in dazzling fashion, and garnered their third star. The NWSL not only made it three years without folding, they actually expanded. On that note, we benefited from that expansion with the new Orlando Pride that will play in 2016! Add to that big signings like Alex Morgan and Kaylyn Kyle, and 2016 should be even better. There was not so good stuff, like the righteous war on turf, and the ongoing Hope Solo saga, but overall it was a great year for women's soccer.

2016 U.S. Women's National Team roster named

U.S. Women's National Team coach, Jill Ellis released the names of the 26 players that will be in training camp for 2016. 24 of the 26 named were with the team during the World Cup, with Adrianna Franch and Mallory Pugh being added. Two Orlando Pride players were named; Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, and of course Forward Alex Morgan. Of the 26, 18 will be selected for the match against Ireland, and the Olympic squad is still to be determined.

You're not as cool as Jack Butland

When Great Britain's women's deaf football team needed money to got to the Deaf World Cup, Jack Butland stepped up. The team needed £20,000, and had set a "Just Giving" appeal for half of that. The Stoke City goalkeeper gave £5,000, much to the delight of the players. Now that's how you start a new year. Good on ya, Jack!