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Lion Links: 12/23/16

Carrasco looks to be returning, OCSC passes in Re-Entry Draft Stage 2, Shipp to Seattle, and more!

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Top of the morning to ya! It’s another Friday here at The Mane Land, and as always, I’m here to bring you the lion’s share of links from yesterday. Take that pun as you wish. Before we get started, I wanted to take the time to wish each and every one of you reading a happy holiday season.

Without further ado, here’s some links that are worth noting.

Servando Carrasco Re-Signing with OCSC

The 28-year-old midfielder appears to be returning to Orlando City for 2017 after making a career-high 31 appearances this season for the Lions. With rumors surrounding Will Johnson trading in his red kit for a purple one after an MLS Cup run, Carrasco’s future was up in the air after the club left him unprotected for the MLS Expansion Draft.

Carrasco came to Orlando in a trade that sent Amobi Okugo to Sporting Kansas City in July 2015 and has since played in 43 games. With that said, Jason Kreis could have a logjam in midfield on his hands with Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita, Tony Rocha, and potentially Johnson as well.

Lions Pass in Re-Entry Draft Stage 2

Luckily for us, Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft was at least a little more significant than the first phase, albeit not for Orlando City. Four players will be receiving genuine contract offers from new clubs.The Houston Dynamo selected veteran center back Leonardo Da Silva while Josh Williams is returning to Columbus after two seasons away at New York City FC and Toronto FC. Olmes Garcia and Andrew Dykstra were also selected by the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City, respectively. The Lions passed on making a selection.

Williams and Da Silva are the biggest names on that list and will likely contribute right away in 2017. Houston has had well-documented struggles in the heart of its defense and Columbus has already traded Michael Parkhurst to Atlanta United FC in addition to missing Gaston Sauro due to injury.

Sounders Land Harry Shipp

It seems like so long ago that Harry Shipp was in the running for the league’s Rookie of the Year award. Since scoring seven goals and racking up six assists in his first season with the Chicago Fire, he has been traded to the Montreal Impact and now the Seattle Sounders.

Seattle acquired Shipp via trade with Montreal in exchange for allocation money. The 25-year-old started in 20 games for the Impact. Down the stretch, however, he was subdued to a minor role, coming off the bench for just two of the team’s five postseason games.

With the Sounders electing not to pick up the contract options of veterans Erik Friberg and Andreas Ivanschitz, Shipp will likely be asked to play a big role when Seattle attempts to defend their title.

U.S. Men’s National Team Still Ranked 28th by FIFA

With 2016 coming to an end, FIFA released its final world rankings for the year. As eventful of a year as the Yanks have had, from a great run in the Copa America Centenario all the way to the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann, the team uneventfully held down its No. 28 spot in the rankings after falling four spots from October to November.

The United States wrap up the year third in CONCACAF behind Costa Rica and Mexico — the two teams it lost to in World Cup qualifying.

Argentina, unsurprisingly, still holds the top spot with Brazil just behind. Germany, Chile, Belgium, Columbia, France, Portugal, Uruguay, and Spain round out the top 10.

That’s all I have for you today. Again, I wish you all the happiest of holidays with friends, family, and loved ones.