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Lion Links: 2/6/16

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Orlando City players look to make impact in USL, USWNT fight yet another battle, Pope Francis announces soccer match and more in today's Lion Links.

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Good morning Orlando City fans, and welcome to today's Lion Links. As Orlando returns to the training field following its out of this world experience at the Kennedy Space Center, it's time to lift off on your morning with these links.

Orlando City Players Shoot for Top Performances

Orlando City's trio of homegrown players -- Tyler Turner, Tommy Redding, and Harrison Heath -- will likely become prominent players for the Orlando City B team. The three joined Orlando City B for their first training session on Tuesday at Eastern Florida State College and look forward to being able to contribute to the team that gave them their professional debut.

Heath, who made 11 appearances back in 2014, is excited about the opportunity to improve himself and see increased game time, as well as gain some much-needed experience. Turner, a finalist for USL Rookie of the Year in 2014, is appreciative of the opportunity to get back to his roots and emerge stronger entering his third year as a professional athlete.

"I think the big takeaway for all three of us is we need to train and play the same way with the MLS team as with the B team," reflected Redding. "I don't think we should change our mindset whatsoever. We need to have confidence in our play, confidence in ourselves and confidence in the people around us. If we keep a positive mindset on whatever team we're on, all three of us will progress."

U.S. U-19s Finish Dead Last

The Copa de Atlántico has come to a close, and the newly formed U.S. Under-19 Men's National Team finished winless and scoreless. Coach Brad Friedel led his team to a 1-0 loss against a 10-man Canary Island team on Friday. In addition, they saw losses against Spain and France. While the team is new, expectations are not being met, meaning some shakeups could be seen in the coming weeks.

USWNT Faces Yet Another Struggle

Following the lawsuit from U.S. Soccer, the women of the United States Women's National Team are facing yet another issue. The Zika virus has been rampantly spreading throughout most of Central America and is working its way down into South America, most notably in Manaus, a city that will host soccer games during the Olympics.

The Zika virus is spread through mosquitoes and causes issues with joints, muscle, and pregnancies. The health officials, as well as the USWNT, will need to decide whether or not it is safe to travel to said areas. Medical ethicist Arthur L. Caplan of New York University was quoted as saying, "It is beginning to look like the time has come to call off the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The reason is simple: Young women cannot travel there safely."

U.S. Soccer and the United States Olympic Committee have yet to comment on how this issue will be handled, despite various reports from the Health Committee, leading the women to believe they will be forced to choose between the sport they love and their reproductive health.

Pope Francis Announces Second Soccer ‘Match for Peace'

On Wednesday, Pope Francis sat beside soccer legends Ronaldinho and Bryan Ruiz as he announced that a second Match for Peace will take place in May. The soccer match is aimed at demonstrating that people are capable of making peace with the game of soccer. The first Match for Peace took place in Rome on Sept. 1, 2014, and was organized by Javier "Pupi" Zanetti, captain of Argentina and Inter Milan. Past players represent different religions and cultures, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, and Shintoists.

Well, that's it for today folks. Check out this great video of Brek Shea showing off some fancy footwork before you go. Have a great Saturday and Go Lions!