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Lion Links: 12/25/16

Christmas Day Links: Holiday cheer from Orlando City, Kaká plays for Chapecoense, Tab Ramos up for San Jose GM opening, Pulisic honored & more!

Santa checking his off-season list.
Santa Kreis by Jorge Gallardo, The Mane Land

A Merry Christmas from all of us at The Mane Land! Hopefully, Santa Kreis filled all your purple stockings with goodies last night as you dreamt of MLS Cup glory. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until November to see if this year’s Orlando Christmas wish is answered.

We aren’t the only ones spreading the holiday cheer. The folks at Orlando City Soccer Club would like to wish you a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year as well:

As you enjoy all the goods things that come with this time of year — along with the beautiful Florida weather, grab another cup of eggnog and enjoy the Links we have for you this Christmas Day.

Kaká Plays in Charity Game for Chapecoense

Orlando City’s captain was among the Brazilian stars to compete in a charity match this week to raise funds for Chapecoense. Playing for Robinho and friends, Kaká’s side lost 13-9 to Neymar and friends, with Neymar scoring four goals in the contest. But everyone really won getting to see a number of Brazilian stars — from sports, television and music — on display for a great cause. Former Orlando City striker Julio Baptista also played in the game.

San Jose Considering Tab Ramos for Open GM Spot

Tab Ramos is reportedly on the short list of candidates for San Jose’s open general manager position. Ramos has been the U-20 United States Men’s National Team coach since 2011, and he served as an assistant coach for Jurgen Klinsmann with the USMNT. He is also the current U.S. youth technical director. There have been plenty of moves to follow throughout MLS this off-season. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for the latest action.

Pulisic Named a Breakthrough Player in the Champions League

What a year it has been for Christian Pulisic. The American teenager has enjoyed international success, as well as securing a regular starting place with one of the most exciting clubs in Europe, Borussia Dortmund. It’s not only excited American fans who have taken notice either. Yesterday, UEFA selected Pulisic for the Champions League breakthrough team of 2016.

According to the list, it’s a great time to be a Dortmund fan. Pulisic was one of a trio of players from Dortmund named this year — striker Ousmane Dembélé and midfielder Raphael Guerreiro were also included in the list.

Cristiano Ronaldo Sends a Message of Hope to Syrian Children

Cristiano Ronaldo had an encouraging message for the children of Syria, calling them “the real heroes.” In this season of giving, Ronaldo made a donation to Save the Children, a foundation providing medical and other resources to Syria. World news headlines have been dominated by the tragedy and destruction of Syria’s civil war. The U.N. estimates that 400,000 people have lost their lives in Aleppo alone since the fighting began.

A Lucky Fan Gets a Gift from Memphis Depay

Continuing in the Christmas spirit, Memphis Depay took to Twitter this week to find a lucky fan to receive a pair of signed boots. Depay asked friends and family to nominate a worthy recipient. After a moving letter from her brother, Carmen McGrane, who suffers from neurofibromatosis, was selected by Depay. You can read the winning letter here. A worthy recipient indeed.

Those are your handpicked, Christmas Lion Links. Don’t forget to check out The Mane Land’s 2016 Top 10 Countdown.

Thank you for sharing your holiday with us. Have a Merry Christmas.