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Lion Links: 1/22/17

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Orlando City hires a new goalkeeper coach, Will Johnson in action for Canada, Ashlyn Harris talks Africa, Florida Cup & more!

Real Salt Lake v Orlando City SC
The off-season is over!
Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Welcome to Sunday’s Lion Links. Orlando City Soccer Club held its medical examinations yesterday, so we are no longer stuck in the purgatory of MLS off-season. Your friends at The Mane Land are still following the potential Jonathan Spector transfer — be sure to watch this space for any updates. For now, let’s get to the Links.

Orlando City’s New Goalkeeper Coach

Tim Mulqueen was announced as the new Orlando City Soccer Club goalkeeper coach yesterday. Earlier this off-season Stewart Kerr left the post to become the Vancouver Whitecaps’ goalkeeper coach. Mulqueen has previous MLS experience with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (’96-’99) and Kansas City Wizards (’00-’04). Mulqueen has also worked with the U.S. National Team at the youth level. Be sure to check out Michael Citro’s feature on Orlando’s new coach for more details.

Joe Bendik talked about his new boss and his relationship with former coach Kerr during medical examinations yesterday.

Will Johnson and Canada Take on Bermuda Today

Looking for some Sunday soccer action? Canada takes on Bermuda in the Caribbean this afternoon. You can watch the game on Canadasoccer.com. The game is an opportunity for Orlando fans to catch new acquisition Will Johnson in action.

Ashlyn Harris Recounts Her Trip to Africa

Last November Ashlyn Harris and U. S. Women’s National Team Coach Jill Ellis participated in a U.S. State Department-sponsored trip to Liberia. Harris recently detailed her experience and the goal of the humanitarian trip to USsoccer.com. In the video, Harris also took time to talk about how the trip impacted her personally. Great to see members of the Orlando community involved in a great cause.

MLS Off-Season Comes to an End

The wait is finally over. MLS is now officially in preseason-mode with Orlando City’s medical examinations taking place yesterday. The first day of training is set for Monday morning. Orlando was the first team to kick things off, as most teams will first report tomorrow. Our Gavin Ewbank was on hand today for player interviews so stay tuned for the highlights of those talks soon.

MLS Benefits from New Chinese Super League Regulations?

The Chinese Super League has drawn a fair amount of attention for enticing players like Carlos Tevez and Oscar to Asia with above market value contracts. The latest news is that the CSL implemented new regulations for the amount of foreign players allowed to feature per team. The recent changes have some CSL teams scrambling to meet the new guidelines. Sam Stejskal writes that MLS teams would be foolish not to look into the situation and inquire about foreign players on the bubble. Maybe a sturdy center back is available?

Florida Cup Final Day Recap

Florida Cup action concluded Saturday with a double-header of the third-place and final matches at the University of Central Florida’s Bright House Networks Stadium. Vasco da Gama of Brazil claimed third place in the tournament by beating River Plate of Argentina, 1-0. River Plate had chances throughout the match to equalize and had two goals disallowed in the second half.

The 2017 final was an all-Brazilian affair as Corinthians squared off against Sao Paulo. The spirited contest involved plenty of cards — both teams were reduced to 10 men in the contest — but no goals at the end of regulation. The game would be settled on penalties with Sao Paulo’s goalkeeper Sidão saving two shots during the shootout, leading his team to a 4-3 victory on penalties.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Thanks for tuning in to today’s Links.