It's that time of the week again, your Saturday morning edition of Lion Links. I like to think it's been an adequate replacement for the cartoons and comic strips of your childhood. There were some crazy shakeups in the news this week; Britain is preparing to leave the European Union, Northern Ireland is in the knockout stages of the Euros, Serge Ibaka now plays for the Magic, and Kaká might actually be healthy for tonight.
And, honestly, the most surprising of those might be Kaká. But, while the world outside is turning upside down, you can always count on Lion Links! Let's get started.
Tommy Redding Called Up
City's Homegrown Player and future of the franchise, Tommy Redding, has been called up to the United States U-20 team for the NTC Invitational starting next week. The Invitational will run from June 29-July 3, which means Redding will likely miss Orlando City's Open Cup match against Ft. Lauderdale and the team's Independence Day clash with FC Dallas. It's almost like the soccer gods don't want us to have all three center backs available.
The tournament will take place at the National Training Center in Carson, CA, and will consist of the United States, Costa Rica, Panama, and Japan. Redding is one of five MLS players involved in the team, which will look to defend its 2014 title. You can catch all of the matches streamed live on ussoccer.com.
Julio Baptista Nets Goal of the Week
Baptista's stoppage-time wonder strike against San Jose deservedly earned MLS' Goal of the Week for Week 15. He claimed 76% of the vote in the final, coasting by New York City FC's Adrea Pirlo. His left-footed volley was set up by himself after a Carlos Rivas cross and it was a sublime finish that proved that Baptista still has it. If only that had been the last goal of the night.
The Beast sits down with MLS
Baptista also had an interview with Simon Veness of MLSSoccer.com, where he discusses his time in the league to date, including how he felt about his Goal of the Week and his analysis on the City team and himself as a player. It's interesting insight from a guy with a lot of experience in a lot of leagues in a lot of countries. The good news is he's comfortable in Orlando and it's showing on the pitch. The better news is that he thinks that Orlando City is on an upward trend.
MLS All-Star Jersey Released
For those of you that like uniform design or just buying jerseys in general, Adidas has unveiled this year's MLS All-Star jersey. There are quite a few homages throughout the shirt, from Canadian and American symbolism to representation of Avaya Stadium's reclaimed redwood trees. The leagues core values on the back of the neck look oddly similar to the D.C. flag and it looks like Orlando City fans won't be able to get away from the awful faux collar. It definitely looks better in purple and white, which is saying a lot. If you'd like to see some Orlando City players go up against Arsenal, you can vote here. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of this shirt, but let me know what you think in the comments.
#Brexit Could Really Affect Premier League
There are a lot of complicated financial issues with the United Kingdom's proposed exit from the European Union. While the pound dropped to record lows, questions came about regarding the transfer of players from mainland Europe to the Premier League and the transfer of money the other way. BBC Sport has their take on what may come, and it could potentially shake up the PL. Really, until the kinks are worked out in Britain's relationship with Europe, there won't be a lot of information. But as long as the currency continues to drop, the effects could be seen as soon as this season, with more players reluctant to move to England. In the long term, over 300 players in the top two divisions of England and Scotland would currently fail work permit regulations, most notably Leicester City's sensation in midfield, N'Golo Kante.
What you might find interesting is that Adrian Heath was all for Brexit. And in all likelihood, Britain and the EU will work out trade and migration agreements before the UK makes its exit.
Those are your Lion Links for this Saturday. As always, we'll be your hub for coverage on tonight's match against Toronto FC so be sure to check back for updates.