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Lion Links: 12/27/16

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Top moment of 2016 goes to Orlando City, best MLS saves of the year, a possible Piatti MLS exit and more.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. Many of you are returning to work after the Christmas holiday today, which is always difficult after a long weekend. Nobody likes to work the week between Christmas and New Year’s and it always seems like production grinds to a halt. Or maybe it’s just motivation, with a holiday behind you and another in front.

Either way, we’re here to serve, with a stocking full of Lion Links for you to get your day started. Help is on the way for those off-season blues, by the way. We’re now only 12 days from the start of Florida Cup, 17 days until the MLS SuperDraft, and 27 days until MLS preseason begins, so hold on a bit longer.

Orlando City Earns “Best Moment” of 2016

Alicia Rodriguez of MLSSoccer.com put together her list of the 10 best moments of 2016. Not only did Orlando City make the list, but the club actually topped it. Rodriguez chose Orlando’s response to the Pulse nightclub shootings as the league’s best moment of the year. The Lions put the community first with their tremendous response to the tragedy and helped galvanize the greater Orlando area. As you may have noticed, we’ve been counting down our own club-centric top 10 moments of 2016 (Austin David will have No. 5 for you later this morning). Where will this particular moment fall in our countdown? You’ll have to check back in daily from now to New Year’s Eve.

Stopping Stuffers

The folks at MLSSoccer.com put together their list of the best save from each team during the 2016 MLS season. We had a different save in mind for Orlando’s but that won’t keep us from enjoying Joe Bendik’s Week 8 save against Mike Grella of New York. Brian Rowe’s save on a scorching Brek Shea drive was deemed the best of the season for the LA Galaxy and Luis Robles had New York Red Bulls’ best stop against Kaká. Anyway, if you love great saves, check out this highlight reel.

Too Much White in MLS Kits?

Our friends over at Black and Red United did a deep dive on just how many Major League Soccer teams where white. Their conclusion? Too much white in the league. It’s difficult to argue with their stance when you see the numbers and I personally am on board with their suggested road color scheme for Orlando City in an “ideal” Eastern Conference.

Piatti Leaving MLS?

There have been rumblings over the past week that Montreal Impact star Ignacio Piatti may be headed back to Argentina. First, there were reports that he would return to his old club, San Lorenzo. Yesterday, social media reports cited Boca Juniors as a club that was preparing an offer to swoop in and grab the Impact star. Should Piatti leave, it would be a blow not only to the 2016 Eastern Conference finalists, but also to Major League Soccer. The league is richer for having creative and talented players like Piatti. With Kaká likely departing after 2017 and players like Obafemi Martins already gone, the league should do what it can to keep its star players in order to continue to build toward becoming more prominent.

Free Kicks

Phil West at MLSSoccer.com provides a list of soccer movies for you to catch up on if you’re one of the lucky folks who have the week off...Tommy Redding made another list of top teenagers playing in MLS...Those born on this date include Good Times and Coming to America actor John Amos (1939), Missing Persons and Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio (1950), pro wrestler Goldberg (1966), Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (1979), Lost actress Emilie de Ravin (1981), and pitcher Cole Hamels (1983). On the other side of the ledger, Harlem Globetrotters legend Meadowlark Lemon (2015), baseball’s Dave Henderson (2015), and General Norman Schwarzkopf (2012) passed away on this date.

That’s it for today, folks. Check back later for our No. 5 moment of 2016 and throughout the week for all things Orlando City. I’ll leave you with this sick Henrikh Mkhitaryan goal (yeah, it was a tad offside but that didn’t end up mattering and it was too pretty to be ruined by a flag):