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Lion Links: 4/22/16

Read about Joe Bendik's stupendous form, the latest on Nocerino's suspension, Kaká's interview with Spanish media, an Orlando City B match preview, and much more in this edition of Lion Links!

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Mane Landers! Another hectic weekend lies ahead with Adrian Heath's Army facing struggling New York Red Bulls without suspended Antonio Nocerino, while Tom Sermanni's Pride will be making their Citrus Bowl debut against Carli Lloyd's Houston Dash! Orlando City B will be in action tonight in its USL fixture against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

In the meantime, we would like to wish a happy birthday to our captain, Kaká (34), and to our central defender, David Mateos (29)! On to the links.

Joe Bendik in His Best Form

Joe Bendik's latest performances have turned the spotlight to him and he is now also being linked to a possible call-up by Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the USMNT's next international commitments prior the Copa América Centenario. Sunday's direct encounter against last year's most outstanding goalkeeper in MLS, Luis Robles, will be crucial for him if he wants to raise his game.

Antonio Nocerino to Miss the Lions' Trip to New York

Italian midfielder Antonio Nocerino will miss the away fixture against New York Red Bulls due to suspension. The former AC Milan man entered the pitch in the final minutes of the controversial match against the Revolution following Kevin Molino's stoppage time goal, therefore, according to the MLS Disciplinary Committee, he has violated league rules.

Orlando City Loans Two Players to OCB

Midfielder Harrison Heath and striker Hadji Barry were loaned from Orlando City to Orlando City B ahead of the OCB's double fixture against Pittsburgh Riverhounds tonight and Harrisburg City Islanders on Monday. While Heath is returning from an injury he sustained last year, Barry was selected by Orlando during the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and has already featured on a couple of occasions for the senior team.

Kaká at 360 degress with MARCA

Spanish newspaper MARCA has been in touch with Orlando City captain and birthday boy, Kaká, and he discussed his playing time at AC Milan and Real Madrid. However, he was also asked about his future and he said that he wants to fulfill his contract with Orlando City and, following this experience, he will evaluate any opportunity that will come ahead.

Show You're #FilledWithPride

We are two days away from the Pride's debut at the Citrus Bowl against the Houston Dash! Send your messages to our ladies using the #FilledWithPride hashtag on Twitter to be part of the family and provide encouragement before the Pride tries to pack the Bowl this weekend.

Orlando City B Set to Face Pittsburgh Tonight

Meanwhile, the B team will be in action tonight against Pittsburgh Riverhounds in its first of two consecutive away fixtures, with the second one being played on Monday against Harrisburg City Islanders. OCB is still seeking its first win after managing only to get one point from their first four outings. Jeff Milby will have a preview for you later today.

USMNT to Face Puerto Rico for the Very First Time

Jurgen Klinsmann's USMNT will be facing Puerto Rico for the very first time as part of its preparations ahead of the Copa América Centenario. The match is scheduled for May 22, and it will be played at the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

#FlashbackFriday - Happy birthday captain!

We wanted to express our birthday wishes to Kaká by showing his debut goal against New York City FC at the Citrus Bowl.


That's all for today! Enjoy a soccer-filled weekend.