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Lion Links: 4/17/17

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Kaká’s future, Larin and Johnson strikes up for GotW, OCSC in the record books, Alex Morgan scores (a lot), U.S. women abroad, and more!

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! This whole starting-the-week-off-after-a-home-win thing is addictive. It makes the sun a little brighter, and even makes Bob from accounting’s stupid jokes more bearable. So, as we bask in the purple glow of a stoppage-time winner, let’s see what’s happening in the world of soccer.

But before we do that, let’s wish a very happy birthday to Saturday’s game winner, Cyle Larin, who turns 22 today. Today is also Pride forward Rachel Hill’s birthday. Rachel hasn’t joined the team yet as she finishes her classes at Connecticut, but she’ll be a welcome addition to the team.

Kaká’s Reiterates Desire to stay with Orlando City

It seems that our injured captain wants to stay in Orlando and wear purple after the 2017 season. His current contract expires at the end of the year, but he reiterated that staying at Orlando City is his first choice. Regardless, everyone, including Kaká, is ready for him to return to the field. He is scheduled to start full training next week and could be playing in the game a week after that.

Larin, Johnson Both up for MLS Goal of the Week

Birthday boy Larin and midfielder Will Johnson are both nominated for MLS Goal of the Week. Voting is open until April 20, so get out there and vote! Johnson’s curling effort opened the scoring on Saturday and Larin’s snapped a 1-1 deadlock in stoppage time to keep the Lions perfect at home. Of course, they’re both going up against David Villa’s 50-yard strike, so the two Orlando City players are going to need all the votes they can get.

Orlando City is in the Record Books

Saturday’s win for the Lions set a record for most straight home wins in MLS to open a new venue. Three other MLS teams managed to remain undefeated through their first four games in a new venue (San Jose Earthquakes, New York Red Bulls, and LA Galaxy), but none managed four wins. It seems that the new Orlando City Stadium is earning its new nickname — The Fortress!

Alex Morgan Nets Four for Lyon

It certainly seems that Alex Morgan is making the most of her time at Lyon, scoring four goals in Lyon’s 10-0 win over Henin-Beaumont in the French Cup semifinals.

Let’s hope that level of goal scoring translates to the Pride when Alex returns to Orlando.

Top U.S. Women Playing Abroad

We’re all too familiar with the fact that the Orlando Pride have started the season without Alex Morgan. However, she’s not the only USWNT player that is plying her trade abroad. Bigger salaries, better training facilities, and a more established soccer culture are hard amenities to ignore. So is the opportunity to play Champions League soccer. Yes, we know that Marta is joining the Pride, but if the NWSL is to continue to grow, some things are going to have to change or improve to keep the best players here.

Tragedy in Panama

Panamanian National Team player Amilcar Henriquez was shot and killed while leaving his home Saturday. Two other people were wounded and Henriquez died in the hospital due to several gunshots. Our thoughts go out to his family and Panamanian supporters.

That’s going to do it for today’s Lion Links, but remember, it’s a purple Monday, so enjoy the win, and stay tuned to The Mane Land for more news through the day.