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Lion Links: 10/31/16

Orlando City's new direction, MLS playoffs, Josee Belanger repping Canada, Deandre Yedlin is hurt, and Gareth Bale gets paid!

Welcome to the Halloween edition of Lion Links. Today we have plenty of treats and no tricks for your reading pleasure. There’s no reason to be scared, so grab your bag and put on your costume, it’s time to hit the Links!

MLS Playoffs

The first legs of the MLS Conference Semifinals took place on Sunday. The Montreal Impact took out the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on a beautiful shot from Matteo Mancosu. Out west, the LA Galaxy bested the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on a header from Giovani dos Santos and Seattle Sounders clobbered FC Dallas, 3-0. Toronto continued the Canadian success against New York teams with a 2-0 win over New York City FC. Here are the match recaps:

Orlando City’s Ch-ch-ch-changes

The Kreis-led Orlando City off-season has begun, and there will be plenty of changes before next season. The organization is looking for a cultural change in order to get into the playoffs in 2017. Kreis is looking for a new level of commitment, and only players that are willing to do so will make next season’s squad. New(ish) coach, new stadium, new players, and a new attitude. Let’s hope it all adds up to a trip to the playoffs.

Josee Belanger Rings a Bell

Orlando Pride’s Josee Belanger was on hand at Montreal’s match against the Red Bulls to ring the giant bell at Stade Saputo. While that might seem a little weird for Orlando City and Orlando Pride fans, Belanger is a Canadian National Team member, and you can be certain she’s popular with the crowds in Montreal.

Deandre Yedlin Head Injury

USMNT and Newcastle United defender, Deandre Yedlin, left the field with a head bandage on Saturday. No word as of yet on the severity of the injury or if Yedlin sustained a concussion, but Jurgen Klinsmann will certainly be paying attention as the U.S. has a match against Mexico on Nov. 11.

Gareth Bale the Money Man

Real Madrid has made Gareth Bale the highest paid player in the world with a £150 million deal over six years. Bale has scored 50 goals in 90 league appearances. In that time, Real Madrid has won five trophies, including Champions League wins in 2014 and 2016. Poor Cristiano Ronaldo is now only the second-highest-paid player in the world.

That’ll do it for today. Be safe tonight, and don’t overdose on candy bars. Happy Halloween, Mane Landers!