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Lion Links: 4/26/17

MLS salaries released, a new book about Phil Rawlins, OCB & Pride win weekly awards, and more!

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

Welcome to Wednesday’s Lion Links. The Lions continue to gain more national attention with each victory, and this week Orlando City B and the Pride took their turns to get in on some of the action. For more on that, let’s get things started.

MLS Releases 2017 Salary Numbers

Each year MLS releases players’ salaries to let us know that...European leagues still reward their stars with a bit more money than MLS. Yes, the league is growing. And yes, over time, as the quality and demand rises, so will the salaries. But putting those discussions aside, one thing the salary release reveals is that Orlando City has the best steal in the league with Cyle Larin still on his initial MLS contract. Orlando is also listed with the third-highest payroll in MLS behind Toronto and NYCFC.

Our man Gavin Ewbank detailed changes on Orlando City’s books from 2016 to 2017 after the information was dropped.

The Story of Orlando City Soccer Club

Orlando City Soccer Club exists today because of the vision of Phil Rawlins. In their new book, Defying Expectations: Phil Rawlins and the Orlando City Soccer Story, Simon and Susan Veness tell the story of Rawlins’ vision and the challenges he overcame to get to where Orlando is today — an MLS team with the premier soccer stadium in the country. The book is set to release in November of this year, but you can pre-order a copy on Amazon today. Surely, the book will be a nice stocking-stuffer for Orlando fans this Christmas — never too early to plan ahead.

Team of the Week Nods for OCB

Richie Laryea and Earl Edwards Jr. earned USL Team of the Week honors for their contributions in the win over Bethlehem Steel. Laryea scored both goals in the 2-0 win and Edwards Jr. recorded five saves in the shutout. OCB sits in eighth place in the USL East standings. The team’s next game is Thursday against St. Louis FC at 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium.

Pride Win Double Honors in Week 2

Rookie Danica Evans scored her first goal for the Pride to save a point in the home opener in Saturday’s game against the Washington Spirit. The forward’s first professional goal was also named NWSL’s Goal of the Week.

The Pride’s noteworthy play didn’t end there, as Monica’s clearance from the mouth of the goal was named the Save of the Week.

From the Wide World of Soccer
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger said Zlatan Ibrahimovic should join an MLS club. As long as the big Swede gets back to full health, he may have a few more goals left in his legs for an MLS team — he is certainly entertaining.
  • What if soccer didn’t allow heading? That’s the question The Ringer tackled while considering growing concussion research. Heading is a large part of the beautiful game, but is the game trending to a change in the future?

Thanks for tuning into today’s Lion Links. Feel free to drop a comment below about which MLS team should go after Zlatan, or give us your take on heading in soccer.

As always, be sure to stay connected with The Mane Land for all the latest Orlando soccer news.