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Lion Links: 12/18/17

Orlando City heads west; Kaká, Marta, and Scott Sutter spotlighted; and Christian Pulisic gets recognized as one of the best

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

Welcome to Thursday’s edition of Lion Links. I hope everyone is off to a good start to their day. Mine started at 4 a.m. and it’s going to be a long one to say the least. For today’s soccer news we have a lot a to cover from the Lions so let’s jump right in.

Lions Draw Earthquakes in Late Night Tilt

Despite kicking off around 10:40 p.m. ET, Orlando City looked like the more energetic and better side over the course of 90+ minutes against the San Jose Earthquakes last night. But the woodwork and a David Bingham save kept things scoreless until late, when Carlos Rivas scored what looked to be the game winner. It wasn’t, because Wondo scored three minutes later to ruin things. No one wants to win a game in this series, which stands at 0-0-3 after three meetings. Here’s what you need to know:

And stay tuned later this morning for Austin David’s five takeaways from the match.

Kaká Talks About Adjusting to MLS

Kaká is still finding his footing in MLS but along the way his experience has paid dividends for his teammates.

"I had to change a lot," he said in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC. "Sometimes I want to participate in the game more, so I have to go back to our defenders to get the ball. Or I have to wait to get the ball because the midfielders cannot get the ball to me because the lines are so close.

Kaká talks about how he has adapted to MLS and even praises it, speaking of the surprise he and others have had about the athleticism and the overall skill of the league. The important thing he mentioned was that the club is doing well, but has yet to reach its potential this season.

Scott Sutter Speaks

Orlando City right back Scott Sutter sat down with Lion Nation and discussed his play and why the Lions have had such a successful start this season.

Kaká and Marta: Two Peas in a Pod

Kaká and Marta are two of the most recognizable faces in the world of soccer and they both just so happen to be playing in the wonderful city of Orlando. In this feature on the club’s website, the dynamic Brazilian duo are lauded for their professionalism.

These two ambassadors of the beautiful game have brought both firepower and match-winning ability to Orlando City and the Orlando Pride – something one would expect considering their proven quality. Another thing each player brings to the club: unprecedented leadership ability. Maybe not in the traditional vocal aspects of leading, but leading by example and simply by their sheer presence in the club. You probably won’t see these fleet-footed playmakers barking out orders on the pitch or pleading to the referee, but you will see their experience and uplifting personalities boosting team morale all over the field.

As Orlando City soccer continues to grow, having both Martha and Kaká leading the way has been wonderful for that growth. The mens team has had its best start to date in MLS and the womens side is starting to put all the pieces together. As they earned their first victory this past Sunday over NC Courage.

Christian Pulisic makes the 20 under 20 list

Christian Pulisic is an American on the rise. He’s gained a ton of accolades since bursting on the scene. The latest: making a list that compiles the best 20 players in the world under the age of 20. Pulisic is from Hershey, PA, and plays his football for Borussia Dortmund in Germany. His rise over the last year has seen him become an influential piece for both his club and the USMNT.

Pulisic ranks No. 13 on the list.

Speed of thought marks out Pulisic on the pitch; he makes the right decisions and is tactically versatile, with Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel sometimes using him as a winger or wingback this season. He signed a new deal with Dortmund in the spring, shutting down suggestions of big bids from Liverpool or RB Leipzig. U.S. fans have hailed him as the most exciting prospect since Landon Donovan. His shooting from distance and dribbling past opponents could improve, but his game intelligence is exceptional, and, at the moment, Dortmund is the best place for his development.

Expect to see a lot more from Pulisic as he is so young and has already shown a lot to be a talented asset.

Thank you for tuning in today. If you want more from me, feel free to follow me on twitter: @awesomeniemeier.