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Lion Links: 2/12/17

Preseason I-4 Derby, Ali Krieger talks about joining the Pride, a pair of Lions share their worst sports defeats, and more.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Gavin’s back on the Lion Links field!

I know, it’s been a while, and we’ve both done a lot with our lives in the time between but I’m back now, pinch-hitting for the morning to deliver you all that linky goodness.

The times, they sure are good. Orlando City is just three weeks away from playing its first game in its new downtown stadium, meaning the start of the new MLS year. And oh, MLB spring training opens up this week, so baseball’s on the doorstep, too!

Now, for what you really came here for — although, I could talk about spring training opening up for days.

Lions Allegedly Scrimmage Tampa Bay, Montverde

Behind closed doors gates, the Lions took to the pitch Saturday for a scrimmage against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Montverde Academy at Sylvan Lake Park. Familiar faces returned to the club’s training facility as Luke Boden and Martin Paterson — both now on the wrong end of I-4 — were part of the visiting contingent. Rumor has it there was a 0-0 draw for the OCSC vs. Tampa portion of the scrimmage but it was all very hush-hush. Head Coach Jason Kreis wasn’t too thrilled with the first team’s execution but was pleased with the second teamers. We’ll have more notes from Saturday for you soon.

Ali Krieger Ready to Roll with Orlando Pride

In her first media interview since joining the Pride this off-season, the club’s biggest acquisition to this point, defender Ali Krieger, talked about being a part of the Orlando City family, leaving the Washington Spirit, her desire to do great things with the Pride, and much more.

Opening day is creeping up quickly for the Pride in their second season in the NWSL.

Johnson, Carrasco Share Their Worst Defeats

Last week’s Super Bowl 51 clash between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons is still fresh in the minds of many throughout the country. The Falcons, if you don’t recall, blew a 25-point lead as Tom Brady captured his fifth Super Bowl ring. The Orlando Sentinel collected stories from around the sports world from athletes and coaches sharing the worst defeats they’ve experienced in their careers.

Orlando City players Will Johnson and Servando Carrasco each participated in the story. Here is an excerpt from Carrasco’s bit:

“The game last year against Montreal was basically a do-or-die,” the Orlando City midfielder said. “We needed three points to make that push for the playoffs, and we played a really good game. We created a lot of chances, but it just wasn't to be. We came up short, … and that basically killed it for us.”

Minnesota United Set to Land U.S. Youth Star

Adrian Heath and his new club up in Minnesota are set to sign U.S. Men’s National Team youth star Joshua Gatt, according to the Star Tribune. The 25-year-old was rising through the youth ranks as a promising future piece for the U.S. senior team before suffering several big knee injuries since 2013 that have derailed his path.

Can he get his career back in order in Minnesota?

Get to Know Your New Referee’s Little Helper

Among the bigger news within the league this off-season, MLS announced continued testing to the new Video Assistant Referee program in matches throughout the preseason. Our sister blog at SB Nation, RSL Soapbox, have everything you need to know about the VAR program.

Free Kicks

Could a Club Leon star be on his way to the House that George Built?...LOL Sunderland...RIP Mr. Illitch...Usain Bolt doesn’t even have to try...Every update you could possibly need on Kevin Durant’s return to Oklahoma City...And last but not least, let there be light!

Play Me Out

Let’s settle all of the debate, once and for all — Green Day’s best albums, ranked:

  1. Amercian Idiot
  2. Dookie
  3. Uño
  4. Revolution Radio
  5. Kerplunk
  6. Tré
  7. Nimrod
  8. Dós
  9. 21st Century Breakdown

Enjoy your Sunday, everybody!