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Lion Links: 5/17/17

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Kaká’s return sparks a dangerous attack, OCSC has one of the best defensive partnerships in MLS, Morgan & Marta news, and more!

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

It’s a Wednesday game day, Lions fans. It will be a late night for East Coast Orlando fans, but that won’t stop most of us from supporting the team into Thursday morning. To get you ready for tonight’s action, let’s jump into this edition of Lion Links.

Orlando’s Attacking Trident

MLS defenses are surely on notice about the potential of Orlando’s big three attacking front. Orlando had to wait to see Kaká, Cyle Larin, and Carlos Rivas together on the field after Kaká left in the first 10 minutes of the club’s home opener back in March, but the dynamic trio can now focus on building team chemistry:

“I think I knew where [Carlos] was going to put it once he got his head up and I made my run,” Larin said. “I think last year when we played Kansas City over there, the same play happened and I didn’t finish it, but I made sure I finished this one.”

Kaká has added three goals in four appearances since returning from injury, which eases some of the team’s scoring burden off Larin.

Lions’ Duo of Center Backs Among League’s Best

Orlando’s defense is significantly improved from seasons past. The team owes a large part of that improvement to the partnership of Tommy Redding and Jonathan Spector. FourFourTwo ranked Orlando’s center back pairing as the third-best partnership in MLS. FC Dallas and Sporting KC topped the list, but it is quite an achievement for a defense that finished last in goals conceded last term.

USL Honors for Seb Hines

Seb Hines earned a spot on the USL Team of the Week for a strong defensive performance against FC Cincinnati. Hines helped OCB grab a valuable road win, handing Cincinnati its first loss at home this season. With Redding away at the U-20 World Cup, consistent performances by Hines may lead to minutes with the first team during this busy match schedule.

Influential Marta

FourFourTwo named Marta to its 100 Most Influential People in Football list, coming in at position 86. Marta will go down in history as the most revolutionary player in the women’s game according Jeff Kassouf of FourFourTwo, and she is already making an impact for the Pride. Marta and the Pride secured the team’s first win this season against the North Carolina Courage on Sunday, which has infused life into the team after a slow start.

Alex Morgan Injury Update

Alex Morgan left Lyon’s match on Saturday with a hamstring injury. Lyon confirmed that Morgan will miss the French Cup final on Friday against PSG. But Lyon is still optimistic that the American will be ready to take part in the team’s UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on June 1 in Cardiff.

As always, thanks for tuning in to Wednesday’s Links. The Mane Land has you covered with all the information you need to know for tonight’s mid-week tilt against San Jose, so check back throughout the day for more coverage.