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Lion Links: 10/13/16

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Orlando City’s stadium still stands, Darlington Nagbe declines USMNT invite, Irish soccer player loses finger in freak accident and more!

MLS: Orlando City SC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, y’all, welcome to another Thursday with another birthday. Today marks the 33rd birthday for Matias Perez Garcia, so we wish Orlando City’s summer addition a happy one. Maybe he’ll go to Disney World.

For now, let’s go to Links Land.

Orlando City’s New Stadium Still Stands

Well, this is good news. Hurricane Matthew caused havoc up and down the east coast, but Orlando City’s future home was able to hold up under the winds. The stadium didn’t take any damage, which should mean construction is still on schedule.

Let’s all rejoice.

Now only if they can find a playoff team to play in it.

Orlando City Academy Camp

Know a soccer player born between 1999 and 2006? Well you can sign them up for the Orlando City Academy Player ID Camp.

We’re working on getting The Mane Land’s Gavin Ewbank signed up for this. We feel like the site has been grossly underrepresented in OCSC’s academy.

Darlington Nagbe Declines Call Up

Apparently, Darlington Nagbe doesn’t place all that much value on being on the U.S. Men’s National Team. The Portland Timbers midfielder reportedly declined the opportunity at a USMNT call up to spend time with his family.

I’m not sure I blame him. The reason seems a bit flimsy, given he probably spends a fair bit of time with his wife and kids. But after the lack of opportunities Nagbe received at Copa America, I wouldn’t want to be called up just to sit on the bench.

I guess we’ll see if he’s left off rosters in the future because of this decision. But if he keeps playing the way he has, one would think it would be difficult not to ask him to join the USMNT.

Omaha the Next Cincinnati?

FC Cincinnati has had some major success gaining a following in the USL this season. According to open market analysis, Omaha might be the next opportunity for a successful expansion in soccer.

I’ll be honest, I’m not buying it. And the research provided didn’t do enough to sell me. This story, in my opinion, did a fine job breaking down the markets that are options for a sports franchise, but I don’t think they took the consumer behaviors into account. There’s no reason for me to believe the fine people of Omaha would want to watch soccer. I think a more realistic market choice that the story mentioned would be Nashville.

But, as we often say, we’ll have to wait and see.

The History of the Supporter’s Shield

MLSSoccer.com did a nice breakdown of how the Supporter’s Shield came to be.

From the story:

The idea was first raised on the NAS list by Tampa Bay Mutiny fan Nick Lawrus in early 1997. It’s possible Lawrus was motivated by the fact that the Mutiny had run away with the inaugural 1996 regular season, only to be dumped in the conference finals by eventual MLS Cup champions D.C. United. While the genesis might have come from one supporter peeved that his team missed out on hardware, the proposal gained support as other NAS members recognized Tampa Bay’s success deserved some sort of recognition. The idea picked up more steam with the premise of the trophy being a supporter-owned award, showing one of the first true successes of the do-it-yourself attitude now common among North American soccer supporters.

Obviously, the Supporter’s Shield has become quite popular, and it’s something that sets soccer apart from other sports. I personally think it’s kind of weird -- a trophy given to the best regular season team from the fans. But hey, the people love it and democracy wins every time.

Irish Soccer Player Loses Finger, Ends Career

Kevin McHugh of the Finn Harps club in Ireland lost a finger jumping over a fence during a coaching session. It’s gruesome.

The story goes McHugh, who serves as captain of the club, was jumping over a fence and his wedding ring got caught on the fence, and somehow ripped his finger off. He forgot his finger on the ground when he rushed to the hospital. They weren’t able to reattach it.

McHugh had been planning to retire at the end of the year, and with just three games left he’s calling it quits a bit early.

This is why you don’t get married, folks.

I think that’s a good place to stop. See you guys later.