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Lion Links: 1/26/17

Cyle Larin looks to make his mark, Orlando City’s preseason schedule released, Brad Guzan is coming stateside, and more.

Real Salt Lake v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Welcome to Thursday. Hopefully I am not the only lucky individual that gets to go on a mini-vacation over the next four days. As January starts to come to a close, soccer fans can be thankful that the 2017 season is creeping closer and closer. Luckily, preseason kicks off very quickly. Today also marks the birthday of Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley as she turns 23 years old. If you want to give her a shout-out, just hit her up on twitter: @stephcatley

Larin Reaches for the Sky in 2017

In an interview with mlssoccer.com Cyle Larin is looking to set the bar higher this year. After two successful seasons of wearing the Lions uniform, Larin looks to be more team oriented heading into the the 2017 MLS season.

I have more team goals than personal ones this year,” he explained. “But I still have a personal target to score more goals than I did last year and the year before. I am a lot fitter than I was at the beginning of preseason last year. For my third year in the league, I know I can score a lot more goals.”

Citing fitness as the key to success, Cyle Larin will be looking to make the biggest impact he has made so far. While receiving praise from the likes of Kaká, Larin has worked hard on movement, making runs into the box, and his finishing touch. A player’s season outlook is never easy to predict, especially one like Larin’s, but manager Kreis believes that Larin can improve “a lot,” as stated to Simon Veness of mlssoccer.com.

Orlando City Announces Preseason Schedule

With the announcing of Orlando’s preseason schedule, Orlando City SC will have five preseason friendlies/scrimmages before the season officially kicks off.

The preseason got underway Monday and the team departed yesterday to Jacksonville, FL, to continue training and preparing for the season.

The Lions will play MLS and United Soccer League (USL) sides in a series of training scrimmages, including faceoffs against reigning Eastern Conference champion Toronto FC on Feb. 19, the Philadelphia Union on Feb. 15 and the USL's Tampa Bay Rowdies on Feb. 11.

Brad Guzan Signs with Atlanta United

Brad Guzan is coming stateside as the USMNT goalkeeper inks a deal with new league incomer Atlanta United. The current Middlesbrough FC keeper has found minutes hard to come by as he continues to sit on the bench behind Victor Valdes. In an attempt to stay in the Premier League, Guzan originally signed the contract with Middlesbrough with the hope of a lot of playing time as his old team, Aston Villa, was relegated to England’s second tier of professional football. Now with more of a guarantee of playing time, Guzan has singed a multi-year contract with the MLS side.

Guzan joins Atlanta on a “multi-year contract” via Major League Soccer’s Allocation Process after discussions between the player and MFC.

Guzan will join Atlanta United in the summer window. Getting a goalkeeper with Guzan’s experience will be very beneficial to the first-year club. Will this help Guzan regain control of the USMNT’s No. 1 goalkeeper role?

New England Revolution Make a Splash

The New England Revolution signed Slovenian defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea in hopes of improving their center back rotation. On a transfer from Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana, Delamea was signed using Target Allocation Money.

“We are very pleased to add to our defense with an experienced center back like Toni,” Revolution GM Michael Burns said in a statement released by the club. “We’re excited to have him here for the beginning of training camp and we look forward to getting him a full preseason of action on the field with his new teammates.”

Something Cool

Something cool to check out is Oscar Pareja’s interview with ExtraTime Radio on mlssoccer.com.

A legend in Colombia for his time with the national team and as a star in the domestic league, Pareja dishes about his playing days, how Dallas became his home, what the future of the club looks like and why moving to MLS went from a curse to a blessing. You can listen to the full interview with Pareja, as well as an chat with his friend and Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera, above.

That’s it from me today, thank you for tuning in. If you are bored and want some insight to what I am thinking on a daily basis just hit me up on twitter: @awesomeniemeier