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Lion Links: 12/1/16

More views of Orlando City’s new stadium, Toronto-Montreal leg two, MLS to help Canadian soccer, goalkeeper saves a seagull mid-game, and more.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday and happy December, everyone! One month without Orlando City soccer down and three more to go before the league returns in March. We can do this.

When you consider all that still has to happen before the 2017 MLS season — MLS Cup, the Expansion Draft, the SuperDraft, the Florida Cup, and the NWSL College Draft, just to name a few — there’s plenty to keep us busy. We might not even notice the next three months are dreadfully void of all purple teams being on the field. Right? Right?!

Why don’t we start killing all that time now, with your daily dose of Lion Links?

Yeah, We Dig the Stadium

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about the new downtown soccer stadium. It seems like every few days there are more photos or another video being released to show us the progress of Orlando City’s new home. The club put out a video yesterday and...yep...still psyched.

Glorious, indeed!

Toronto FC Outlasts Montreal Impact in Classic Series

MLS Cup 2016 will be Seattle Sounders at Toronto FC after the Reds won a thrilling seven-goal match last night at BMO Field. Toronto beat rival Montreal Impact 5-2 with two extra-time goals after Sebastian Giovinco was forced off with a leg injury. His replacement, Benoit Cheyrou, scored the goal to force extra time and his teammates added two in extra time to win 7-5 on aggregate. Along the way, Jozy Altidore scored a goal and made a little history.

MLS to Help Develop Canadian Talent

Yesterday, Major League Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association announced the creation of a joint taskforce to focus on advancing youth development in Canada and the expansion of the league’s Generation adidas program to Canada.

The joint taskforce will consist of individuals from the CSA, MLS league office and Canada’s three MLS clubs – Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps – and will work to develop and implement initiatives to advance the Canadian youth game in the areas of academy environment, coaching, competition and individualized player development.

The expansion of the GA program to Canada is a step in the right direction, as is the league’s interest in developing Canadian talent. In addition, some Canadians will qualify as “domestic” players under certain conditions.

Goalkeeper Stops Game to Save Seagull

Sydney goalkeeper Danny Vukovic may have come up one save short in his team’s 1-0 loss to Melbourne in the FFA Cup Final this week, but one of his saves was above and beyond. Vukovic got the attention of the referee and had the game stopped in the second half so he could rescue a seagull that had been hit by the ball. The bird seemed to recover after Vukovic scooped it up and carried it to the sideline. Despite his good deed, Vukovic could not rescue his club.

Free Kicks

OK, the more I read about the story about former English youth soccer coach Barry Bennell, the more it sickens me...goalkeepers can score bicycle kick goals too...Our friends in Minnesota have learned at least three things from Adrian Heath’s introductory presser...It’s December so perhaps you can use this handy holiday gift guide Orlando City posted.

That’s all for me today, folks. Enjoy your Thursday.