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Lion Links: 5/16/17

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Cyle Larin’s scoring prowess, Kaká for GotW, FIFA and Chill with Giles Barnes, NWSL non-allocated players association, and more!

MLS: Sporting KC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to The Mane Land, it’s Tuesday again. Hopefully everyone has recovered from their Mother’s Day weekend. Some may be disappointed with the Orlando City draw, but it isn’t a loss. The Orlando Pride got on track against the top team in the NWSL, so hopefully that is a sign of things to come. Orlando City B is on a four-match unbeaten streak. We are building something great. Well, we have a lot of good links for you this morning, so let’s get to it.

Larin’s Goal-Scoring Form is Sustainable

With the transfer talk that has been surrounding Cyle Larin, it’s not surprising that he was the feature of an article explaining how his scoring is the most sustainable in MLS based on expected goal value.

It was probably meant to be complimentary, but it was kind of a backhanded compliment. Larin has seven goals, but based on the quality of shots he gets, he is expected to have 6.22 goals. None other of the top scorers are above 4.4 expected goals.

That stat illustrates how dependent OCSC was on him with the early-season injuries. The game plan was to get him shots. As the season continues it will be interesting to see what trends develop, but it’s still too early to make judgments.

Toward the end of the article, the tone changed. Possibly realizing that the article didn’t necessarily portray Larin in a great light, a flattering comparison was made: the numbers say Larin is like Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. They are both calculated in the shots they take.

Kaká Nominated For Goal of the Week

Kaká’s goal against Sporting KC was nominated for the MLS Goal of the Week. Make sure to cast your vote as much as possible. It seems that Kaká’s unassuming personality has made people forget how accomplished he is. He is the most accomplished player in MLS, and sometimes with the heat he gets about salary, it seems that people forget that. So let’s show support and help him win GotW.

Refs Face Criticism after Orlando-KC Draw

It was a tough weekend for referees. They are being criticized for questionable officiating in numerous matches over the weekend. Of course, everyone here is thinking of the Jose Aja goal being disallowed, but that may have been the right call.

But there was also the non-call on that Aja jersey pull just before SKC scored its first goal.

Sporting KC had its own gripe about the officiating as well. But they weren’t the only franchise in a sour mood over officiating.

The Seattle Sounders’ official Twitter account questioned the validity of a penalty granted against the Chicago Fire. To make matters worse, the initial penalty was saved and the referee called encroachment and awarded another penalty shot that wasn’t missed.

The Orlando City B vs. FC Cincinnati match generated criticism for referees because there were 36 fouls called. The Professional Referee Organization (PRO), the independent agency that trains soccer officials, is going to have to do some damage control. The perception of officials shapes the perception of the league.

FIFA and Chill with Giles Barnes

FIFA and Chill is a show from Youtube channel Copa90 where hosts Poet and Vuj sit down with their guests and have a conversation over a game of FIFA. This week’s guest was our own Giles Barnes, and the interview took place in Orlando City Stadium.

Due to the relaxed format, the interview turned out to be very revealing on a personal level. Barnes talked about his soccer journey and the obstacles that he has had to overcome on his path to Orlando.

Poet knew of Giles when he was a youngster in England, so he asked questions about each step through Barnes’ journey. It provided insight into Barnes the person, not just the soccer player.

On a side note, when his English interviewers questioned whether the Orlando City Stadium vibe was on par with England, Giles confirmed that it is the real deal wherever you are from.

NWSL Non-Allocated Players Announce Formation of a Players Association

The NWSL Non-Allocated Players announced the formation of a players’ association. This is an important step in the eventual formation of an NWSL Union. U.S. Women’s National Team members already have their own union.

Sacramento Group Bidding For MLS Team Acquires USL Club Republic FC

Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings is trying to bring MLS to Sacramento. A major hurdle was overcome when they acquired USL club Sacramento Republic FC. Now they have a team to apply with for MLS entry.

It’s a competitive process to get into MLS, but Sacramento has a stadium plan, and the ownership group includes some influential people — San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and HP Enterprise President and CEO Meg Whitman are part of the group.

That’s all for this edition. Have a great Tuesday. Until next time.