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Lion Links: 7/1/16

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Today we’ve got Kaká being Kaká, Baptista’s goal is still awesome, important news for women’s soccer, and Sharknado?!?! Come on in, the Links are just fine.

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good Friday morning to everyone and welcome back to your daily edition of the Links. I know, I know, it’s not Sunday, but even still, I can set you up with your Church of Lion Tip of the Week.

Last week, we went over awesome cushioned stadium seats to beat those wooden pews. This week, we’re going to troubleshoot how to get out of singing those hymns. Listen, most of us sound like frogs on a good day that early in the morning, so singing isn’t number one of the list of must do activities. Still, people look at you weird if you’re just standing there. So, here’s the solution – just lip sync the word "watermelon" until the song is over.

From a distance, it looks like you're singing every word and no one is none the wiser. The old people will give you a smile and a thumbs up. Your spouse/significant other will think highly of you. Your children (if you have little Lions) probably won’t care less, but know you are a fine example. Then when you sit down, bust out your Lion Links on your cellular device with the knowledge you’re solid for another week.

On to the Links:

Kaká is a Really Nice Guy and He's Popular!

In a piece over at The Orlando Sentinel, Mr. Kaká once again endears himself to the community by going above and beyond. This time, he showed up at a young man’s baptism at The First Baptist Church of Orlando. Well, it was by accident if we’re being honest, but still a cool moment for the teenage soccer player who, a few months earlier, heard Kaká speak at his youth group first-hand about his life. Kaká, since signing with Orlando, has become a staple to not only the team but the city as well. Oh yeah, he also has over 25 bazillion Twitter followers, in case you look at stuff like that.

Also in the article are the latest Major League Soccer Power Ratings, and Orlando City checks in at No. 10. There’s a very tough Independence Day game coming up against FC Dallas (currently No. 2) at Toyota Stadium, so we’ll see how that shakes out for next week.

MLS Goals of the Month

Can’t get enough of some pretty sweet goals? Then the MLS website has you covered. Of course, leading off the video is one epic volley shot by a guy you may have heard of – Júlio Baptista. Yep, the big man kicks off (no pun intended, or was it???) the action and for good reason. That is one freaking epic goal.

Two Orlando Pride Players Will be Missed

With the Olympics coming up, it seems the Pride are taking a little bit bigger hit than most teams in the NWSL. Ashlyn Harris, goalkeeper extraordinaire, and team captain Alex Morgan will be leaving to join up with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Honestly, Harris, who has been a human highlight reel in goal, will be the tougher void to replace with backup Aubrey Bledsoe out with injury. The way she’s been playing this year, there is no question she’s currently the Pride’s MVP.

With the emergence of Jasmyne Spencer, Morgan’s absence might be a tad easier to handle, but still, she’s a world class forward and not having her on the field is never going to be listed as a "good thing." Oh well, they don’t stop playing the games, so it’ll be very interesting to see if the Pride can hang in there until Harris and Morgan return after national team duty.

Girls Development Academy Coming to Orlando

U.S. Soccer announced today the first 25 clubs that will be a part the U.S. Girls Development Academy, an initiative designed to accelerate the development of players, and the Orlando Pride are one of them. This is fantastic news for the teams, as they will be able to provide an environment for young girls soccer players that offers high-level coaching, games, and tactics.

To round it out, six of the 10 NWSL teams are represented and the initial season will begin play in the fall of 2017. As more information is added to this exciting announcement, we’ll provide updates as they come in.

Zlatan Goes to Man United

In this world the rich just get richer. Manchester United received some awesome news as Zlatan Ibrahimovic is joining the Red Devils. The world class Swedish forward previously announced his international retirement, but it seems he’s ready to take on the field over in the Barclay’s. With Zlatan on the roster, this really ups the ante for Man United’s season. There has to be a definite feel of championship or bust hanging over Old Trafford.

Word on the street says Orlando City missed signing him by just this* much.

(*in the following case, this means never had a snowball's chance in hell.)

A Docu-series about Women’s Soccer in America

Do you love a good kick-starter project? Are you passionate about women’s soccer? If you answered yes to both questions, this just might be the project for you. Kicking the Gates wants your help in bringing this story to life. The idea is to explore different cultures and backgrounds, telling a story that ultimately ends with giving women’s soccer a voice. They have some really good themes listed and time will tell if they are able to bring their message to media near you.

Free Kicks

How do you like your Sharknado – with April or without? Well, SyFy has answered the question in this YouTube trailer that I know you’re all dying to see. Lion Links and Sharknado? Best. Friday. Ever…ESPN FC wants you to know they don’t think Jurgen Klinnsman is right for the English vacancy. Hmmm, I guess that means we’ll keep him…Speaking of English jobs, Arsène Wenger has some interest in the top spot, but the earliest he’d take it is next year when his Arsenal contract runs out. In the meantime, I know this guy named Jurg--oh, you still don’t want him? Well then, this is awkward…

On that note, until next time guys!