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Lion Links: 5/13/17

Orlando City had an extraordinary off-season, two Lions feature in MLS quarter one awards, offers for Larin reported, and more.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! We have another exciting game day today with Orlando City taking on Sporting Kansas City at home. That should be a great battle between two of Major League Soccer’s best teams this season. Orlando City B will also be in action, playing away at FC Cincinnati, so let’s hope for a good day for the Lions. Also, everyone here at The Mane Land would like to wish Scott Sutter a very happy 31st birthday! Anyway, let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Won The First 2017 Transfer Window

After Orlando’s meteoric start to 2017, the season has hit a bit of a bump but that doesn't change the fact that we’re watching a much improved squad. Much of the Lions’ success is due to the numerous great acquisitions picked up this off-season. Jason Kreis clearly went out with his mindset on improving a weak back line, and he certainly accomplished that goal by picking up multiple guys that now play key roles.

Orlando City’s Cyle Larin and Scott Sutter Featured in Quarter One MLS Awards

Orlando City has been superb this season, so when there is talk about “season” awards the Lions are going to come up. In this edition of the quarter one MLS awards, Matt Doyle selected right back Scott Sutter for his MLS best XI for the season so far. Cyle Larin was also mentioned as Young Player of the far.

Lions Reportedly Receive Formal Offers for Cyle Larin

Yesterday there were several reports from different sources that Orlando City have officially received multiple offers for Canadian gem Cyle Larin. His departure has been rumored for a while, but unfortunately it seems that if he keeps up his blistering form that the end of his MLS career is near. But it’s not time to panic just yet.

Jonathan Spector Named One of MLS’ Best Newcomers

After having one of MLS’ worst defenses over the club’s first two seasons, Orlando has done a complete 180 and that has a lot to do with the acquisition of Jonathan Spector in the off-season. Spector is a very experienced defender that has done a great job as the leader of the Lions’ new-look defense. Spector has even been recently recognized as one the best additions to the league this season. He's definitely in good company too, as some other players on the list include former Marseille winger Romain Alessandrini and Paraguayan starlet Miguel Almiron.

Earl Edwards Jr. Maturing With Orlando City B

Earl Edwards Jr. is a talented young goalkeeper, and sometimes it can be frustrating for a good player to feel he’s not getting the chance he deserves. In this case, that chance would be to play for Orlando City. It doesn’t seem to bother Edwards, though. According to OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis, he has been professional about the whole situation and is currently focusing on doing his best in the USL.

“I had a chat with him last week and told him how pleased we’ve been with him not just on the field, but the way he has been around the group. Because he has now had that two years of being an MLS backup, he’s been around the environment and I think he’s now really relishing that role of being our starting goalkeeper and being able to get minutes and play week in and week out and really help the younger guys out,” Pulis said. “So, we’ve been really pleased with him. And the challenge with him now is to continue that, and I said to him, the last three games have been good because he hasn’t had as much work to do as probably what he had to do in the first five. But what’s he done, he’s done it well.”

That’s all for today’s Lion Links. Today’s games look like they should be pretty competitive, considering that in both OCSC and OCB’s case they will be facing a team that is very near to them in the table. Let’s all hope for the best. Go Lions!