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Lion Links: 10/8/16

U.S. defeats Cuba, Redding captains U-20 team, Adrian Heath to make a guest appearance for MLS, and more.

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MLS: Orlando City SC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Saturday again, Mane Landers, and I hope this finds you all well and not too adversely affected by Hurricane Matthew. We’ve got your usual serving of links on the table and this week’s edition has an international week flavor to it. Hopefully the reading material can help you bridge the boredom gap between matches.

U.S. Defeats Cuba, 2-0

It was an historic match for the USMNT as the Yanks traveled to Cuba in preparation for the upcoming Hex matches. Behind Chris Wondolowski’s goal and assist off the bench, the U.S. won handily and got some good experience for its young, upcoming talent. You can check out our recap from Saul Garcia.

Tommy Redding Captains U-20s

The United States U-20 squad was in action yesterday during the Four Nations Tournament against the Netherlands. Orlando City’s own Tommy Redding was handed the captain’s armband. The Americans jumped out to a 3-2 lead early in the second half on the back of Jeremy Ebobisse’s hat trick but could not hold on and eventually fell 5-3. The U.S. has lost both matches in the tournament so far and the final match with England takes place on Monday.

Adrian Heath to be Guest for Priority Draft

You may remember Orlando City’s own Expansion Priority Draft leading up to their inaugural MLS season. If your memory is hazy, it’s basically a draft draft for expansion teams. It allowed Orlando to take the first SuperDraft selection (and subsequently Cyle Larin), first pick in the Expansion Draft, as well as gain priority in several other key player acquisition mechanisms. This year’s edition, featuring Atlanta United and Minnesota United, will also have special guests Adrian Heath and Heath Pearce on hand. Pearce also has ties to City after he was selected by the Lions in the Expansion Draft and elected to play overseas instead. MLS will stream the event on Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.

Independent USL Clubs Thriving with MLS Competition

Paul Tenorio of FourFourTwo sat down with several influential people within the USL to discuss how the relationship of its independent clubs with MLS has improved the league. Orlando City’s Anthony Pulis has seen the evolution firsthand from playing against MLS reserve sides in Orlando’s early years to coaching one in the newest version of the partnership.

Pulis speaks about bringing his own mindset as a player into his approach against the independent clubs this season. He wanted to prove himself to players from a bigger league and he knew that his players would have a similar target on their backs. There’s an inherent divide between teams owned or run by MLS clubs and those that are independent. The older independents like Rochester and Richmond are trying to stay competitive while the new, ambitious independent teams like Sacramento and FC Cincinnati have added to the overall depth and quality of the league.

Bob Bradley Talks USMNT

The recently appointed Swansea boss had his first press conference for his Premier League side yesterday, but arguably his comments on his time with the U.S. were far more interesting than what he had to say about his challenges ahead in England. Bradley accused Jurgen Klinsmann of gunning for his job in 2010, when Klinsmann was an analyst for ESPN. Bradley’s candid opinions on his final match in charge of the USMNT and how he feels the U.S. made a mistake in firing him is interesting to hear. Whatever the circumstances behind the scenes regarding his dismissal from his international position, hopefully he does the U.S. proud in the Prem.

That’s everything we have for you today. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.