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Lion Links: 3/16/17

Giles Barnes speaks, OCSC game preview, USMNT releases Hex roster, and more.

New York City FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Hello to all on this Thursday. As we gear up for week three of the young season, we have many different things in store for you today regarding headlines from the soccer world. But first...we have a birthday.

Zach Carroll, Orlando City B defender, turns 23 years old today. Give him a follow and a shout-out on twitter, @zachattack.

Giles Barnes Interviewed by Total MLS

Total MLS had the privilege to sit down with Orlando’s very own Giles Barnes. The man who garnished an assist in the opening game, which led the Lions to a win, sat down with the guys heading the Total MLS Podcast. Give them a listen and see what Barnes had to say.

Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union

OCSC is at home against the Philadelphia Union this coming weekend. The game should be a fun watch as both teams have looked solid in the opening weeks. Orlando missed the second game week of the season due to inclement weather in New England but will now look to capitalize off of the (not very much needed) break.

Check out the predicted starting XI from

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Joe Bendik — Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, Will Johnson — Antonio Nocerino, Servando Carrasco, Matias Perez-Garcia, Giles Barnes — Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin

Arena’s USMNT Hex Rosters Set

Bruce Arena listed the 24 players he will call up for the next two World Cup qualifying games. The next two matches are considered by to be must-win affairs after the USMNT failed to win either of the first two games of WC qualifying.

“We put together a roster that we think has balance and one that gives us an option in playing a number of different ways,” Arena said. “It’s a roster where the primary rationale is to help us be successful in these two games, but we’re also looking down the road and bringing in some young players that we think have an opportunity to be an important part of the National Team program as well. Our approach to these games is simple: We want to win.”

Do you see any snubs? Have a reaction? Let us know in the comments.

Becky Edwards is Back?

Becky Edwards announced her retirement from the Orlando Pride in September of 2016 and then she played her final game in purple. In what was meant to be a farewell match, Becky Edwards looks to be finding her way back into the beautiful game. In fact, Edwards is returning to Sweden to play for Kristianstads DFF a mere six months after announcing her retirement.

Former Orlando Pride midfielder Becky Edwards said the chance to return to Sweden and play in a league that better suits her style of play was too good an opportunity to turn down.

NYCFC Fans Plead Not Guilty

Stemming from the March 5 incident outside the Orlando City Stadium, two of three people have pleaded not guilty in accordance to charges made that include resisting an officer, disorderly conduct, and aggravated battery.

Felix Vazquez, 27, and Katerine Sopilidis, 24, both of the Bronx, each entered written not guilty pleas this past week. Vazquez faces two felony charges: aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. He is also charged with two misdemeanors: resisting an officer without violence and disorderly conduct.

U-20 USMNT Gets Its World Cup Group

The USMNT U-20 team was drawn into Group F of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in the Korean Republic. The three teams in Group F include Ecuador, Senegal and Saudi Arabia.

"We are proud to have earned a group top seed for the 2017 U-20 World Cup,” U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos said. “As CONCACAF Champions and 2015 U-20 World Cup Quarterfinalists, we have put ourselves in a great position for this tournament. Our Youth National Team Program has been on an upward trend and we need to continue to push forward in Korea Republic. This was a difficult draw, but we are ready for the challenge. Our plan is to treat each game like a final, so our preparation now shifts to Ecuador."

Make sure you tune in to see the boys in action. Orlando City’s Tommy Redding should be on the roster.

Is Yankee Stadium One of the Weirdest in MLS?

We all know the home of NYCFC is really just the home of the New York Yankees. The challenge of hosting an MLS team has presented some of its own problems, but the nostalgia that the stadium brings to NYCFC games is still evident. Though Yankee Stadium is a great venue, is it a great venue for MLS?

Brazil vs. USA This Summer

The Brazil women’s national team seems to have a very tough schedule ahead of them in the future. One of Brazil’s opponents is our very own USWNT. In what looks like a competition based here in the U.S. from July 22 - August 3, the USWNT will be facing the likes of Brazil, Japan, and Australia.

That is it from me today. If you want useless information to fill your timeline, don't be afraid to give me a follow on twitter. Follow me @awesomeniemeier.