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Lions Links: 12/9/16

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Tommy Redding joins U-20 MNT, MLS pays more than Serie A, TAM increase coming, and more.

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

TGIF, everyone! In case anyone is in need of some good news to propel them into the weekend, A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered 41 years ago on this day. If that fails to put you in a great mood, then to be quite frank, I’m unsure anything will.

MLS Cup is tomorrow, and while that draws plenty of attention, news revolving teams on the outside looking in has not been hard to come by. With that said, let’s dive right into the links, shall we?

Tommy Redding Joins U-20 MNT in Costa Rica

Tab Ramos’s squad is set to travel abroad to Costa Rica for an international camp that begins on Dec. 13. Redding was named among the 20 players that Ramos called up for two friendlies. Joining Redding are six other defenders in Justen Glad, Auston Trusty, Jake Morris, Marcello Borges, Aaron Herrera, and Miles Robinson.

Jonathan Klinsmann remains on the roster as one of the goalkeepers despite his father’s dismissal as the face of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Accompanying him is JT Marcinkowski, who brings five years of experience in the U.S. Development Academy with the San Jose Earthquakes academy.

In midfield, Ramos has selected Danny Acosta, Tyler Adams, Derrick Jones, Sebastien Saucedo, Nick Taitague, and Eryk Williamson. Playing in front of that group will be any combination of Jeremy Ebobisse, Jonathan Lewis, Victor Mansaray, Emmanuel Sabbi, and Brandon Vazquez, who just recently joined Atalanta United’s roster.

This U-20 side will play two friendlies against the Costa Rica U-20 team at their national training center on Dec. 17 and 19.

MLS to Increase TAM Available for Clubs

Grant Wahl reported that MLS is expected to announce an increase of nearly $9 million in Targeted Allocation Money. Essentially, each team will have an additional $400,000 of TAM in 2017, totaling $1.2 million.

For those not familiar with TAM, it is money able to be spent outside of the league’s salary cap to help teams retain players or acquire new talent without using one of their three Designated Player spots.

Players such as MLS MVP runner-up Bradley Wright-Phillips, Luciano Acosta, Jelle Van Damme, and Ola Kamara have all been recipients of TAM.

MLS Spending More on Top Players than Serie A

According to a study done by Verve Search, MLS had more players in 2016 earning in excess of $100,000 than Serie A in Italy. Research showed that 5% of players in MLS earn a six-figure weekly salary while only 3% do so in Italy.

Juventus teammates Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic join Daniele De Rossi as the three players in Serie A earning over $100,000 per week while Kaká, Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo did so in North America.

Whitecaps Fan Featured in FIFA 17

I’ll leave you with a feel good story that will hopefully jump-start your weekend. Three brain tumors, four months of chemo, and 25 sessions of radiation later, Kenton Doust, Vancouver’s No. 1 fan, was honored with a special player card in FIFA 17.

Russell Teibert and other members of the Whitecaps team have shown their support for Kenton throughout his treatment and developed close personal relationships with the 15-year-old. Thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Doust now has a player card to match all of his new friends.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but in case you were wondering, Amazon does have A Charlie Brown Christmas available on Blu-Ray.