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Lion Links: 1/9/17

Sertic rumors, Florida Cup begins, MLS Combine matches, USMNT January camp, Rafael Ramos has a birthday, and more!

MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Monday morning edition of Lion Links! I certainly hope everyone had a great weekend. There was quite a bit of soccer yesterday if you knew where to find it. If you weren’t able to see it all, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Of course, we want to wish Rafael Ramos a very happy 22nd birthday! The young Portuguese player had a solid 2015 with Orlando City, but thanks to a hamstring injury didn’t do much in the 2016 season. Here’s hoping that another year around the sun will have him grow into the defender that Orlando City needs as the club pushes for a playoff appearance.

Now, on to the Links!

Sertic to Orlando City Not Looking Good

We’ve all heard the rumors of Grégory Sertic to Orlando City to bolster the back line. Yours truly even asked Head Coach Jason Kreis about that rumor in this month’s PawedCast. However, MLS Italia seems to be squashing that rumor, stating that Bordeaux has given a second offer to keep the defender away from the Lions. You’ll need to have Chrome translate the page for this one.

Florida Cup Begins!

Yesterday, the Florida Cup kicked off with two matches over in St. Petersburg. In the first match, Estudiantes took on Bayer Leverkusen. The match didn’t disappoint, going into penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. Bayer Leverkusen, was able to come out on top, 4-2 on penalty kicks. In the second match of the double header, the Tampa Bay Rowdies took on VFL Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg would make it a clean sweep for the Bundesliga teams on the day, beating the Rowdies, 2-0. The Florida Cup continues on Jan. 11, when Bayer Leverkusen takes on Clube Atlético Mineiro from Brazil at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

MLS Player Combine Double Header

On Sunday, college players hoping to get drafted to MLS were playing in the MLS Player Combine. This was the first of three match days in the combine. In the first of the two matches, Team Control took on Team Chaos and came away with a 3-1 win. You can watch the replay here. In the second match, Team Tango dominated Team Copa, 4-0, with both David Goldsmith and Zeiko Lewis scoring a brace. The combine resumes on Tuesday with the final matches on Thursday.

Chill Out on the USMNT January Camp

If you weren’t familiar with the idea behind the USMNT January camp, you’d be both very confused and potentially quite perturbed. “Why only MLS players?” and “Where the heck is Christian Pulisic?” Well, there are perfectly good reasons why the January camp is exactly the way it is. Speaking of Pulisic, he’s doing quite well over in the Bundesliga, and should be quite ready when he rejoins the USMNT.

MLS Superdraft Flops

Orlando City fans are all too familiar how well the MLS SuperDraft can work out for a team (thanks, Cyle Larin). However, there have been plenty of players that haven’t lived up to the hype throughout the years. FourFourTwo takes a look at 10 of the biggest busts throughout the years. Fortunately, no Orlando City player made this list.

As we wrap up this edition of Lion Links, I’d like to leave you with a request. For those of you that read yesterday’s Lion Links, you know that our very own Managing Editor, Michael Citro, is scheduled for a colonoscopy this morning. If you could, please send your prayers and well wishes to our esteemed captain in the comments below.