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Lion Links: 1/2/17

Orlando City state of the team, FIFA, Russian doping, more FIFA, and a farewell to Luke Boden?

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the ultimate anti-climax day of the year. As such, we may not be as hopeful as we were after leaving 2016 behind. I’m not going to lie, I’m feeling pretty feisty to start off the year. As such, we’re going to start with our own Orlando City Soccer, but then onto the premier soccer governing body, FIFA!

SBI’s State of Orlando City Soccer

Our friends over at have worked up their impressions of where Orlando City is as we head into the new year. There are still moves to be made this off-season, and as such predictions are difficult, though they do mention the improvements to the back line, and the possibility that Cyle Larin could be sold sometime next season. Go take a look, then come back and give us your impressions.

FIFA Promises to Drain the Swamp

It turns out that FIFA is trying empty their institution of corruption and cronyism. It turns out that its promises to investigate corruption, get rid of those that contributed to their bad name, and generally be more transparent, seems to be insincere. I know we’re all shocked at this news.

Russia and FIFA are A-Okay!

Moving on to another governing body with a stellar reputation (there really needs to be an official sarcasm font). It turns out Russia has some doping problems with the International Olympic Committee among others. The problem is big enough that the FSB (Russia’s version of the FBI), is involved in the investigations. By that, I mean that the FSB is being implicated as accessories to the doping, not the cops stopping it. Not to worry though, it won’t affect the 2017 Confederations Cup or the 2018 World Cup. Despite what has been evident institutionalized doping within the Russian sports programs, it seems that FIFA’s new president, Gianni Infantino, just doesn’t care. They feel it’s an internal issue for FIFA to deal with, and that we should just trust them.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Since it’s a new year, we will let FIFA tell some of their own story for the year that was 2016. One of the highlights is unfortunately the USMNT results against Mexico in World Cup qualifying, and then a few days later against Costa Rica. Looking forward, FOX Sports has 10 Stories to follow in 2017. There’s plenty of English Premier League for certain, but there’s also Bruce Arena and the USMNT, as well as USMNT phenom Christian Pulisic. Let’s not forget the rise of the Chinese League, Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo, and FIFA (geez, these guys again). It’s going to be quite a year.

Farewell to Bodz

Lastly, we say goodbye to Luke Boden, as he says goodbye to us. Very few have given as much to Orlando City as the Bodz over his time as a Lion. Of course, he put it best in his Instagram post:

Thank you for the last 6 years Orlando. I've met and played with some amazing people and done some very special things that I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you for all your support over the years. I will never forget my time here.

Thanks Bodz, and good luck in all your future endeavors.

That’s going to do it for the first Monday morning Lion Links of 2017. Thanks for sticking with us here at The Mane Land, and we look forward to a great year!