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Lion Links: 12/17/17

Rawlins fields questions, Orlando City trending upward, Martino’s U.S. solution, and more!

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers, I hope you’re having a good weekend as we head into the holidays. It’s almost the deadline for online gift shopping unless you want to spend extra on expedited shipping, so make sure you’ve got everything ordered by tonight to save yourself a hectic trip to the mall. Anyway, let’s get straight to some Lion Links!

Phil Rawlins Sits Down for USL Q&A

Orlando City’s founder, Phil Rawlins, was interviewed by in a Q&A where he gave details on Orlando City’s time in the USL, its transition to MLS, and the book, Defying Expectations, By Simon and Susan Veness (which would make a good Christmas present). It’s definitely worth checking out, as Rawlins reveals his favorite moments with the club and his plans for the future.

Orlando City Named a Top Trending MLS Team

As a part of Google’s annual “Year in Search,” the top 10 trending MLS teams were revealed. Not only did Orlando City make the list, but it ranked second as far as being one of the most searched teams in MLS. With the new stadium, and record-breaking moves involving Kevin Molino and Dom Dwyer in 2017, it should come as no surprise that the Lions made quite a bit of national headlines.

Kyle Martino Details U.S. Soccer Solution

While most attention has been on the USMNT’s recent failure to get into the 2018 World Cup, former American player and current NBC Sports announcer Kyle Martino believes that a bottom-to-top approach is the best way to solve U.S. Soccer’s woes. Martino has recently held a summit with former players, U.S. officials, and fans and the consensus was that the core problem is that the USSF has a distant relationship with the youth level of the sport.

Ronaldo Kicks Real Madrid to Club World Cup Win

The recent Ballon d’Or winner netted a beautiful free kick in the 53rd minute for the lone goal in Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Gremio in the Club World Cup Final. The win was Real Madrid’s third since 2014 and makes the Spanish giants back-to-back winners. It was a fitting finish to an impressive 2017 not only for Real Madrid but Cristiano Ronaldo.

Free Kicks

That’s all from me, have a blessed Sunday everyone!