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Lion Links: 7/15/17

Budalic is ready to be active in the transfer window, ISL wants Kaká, Bruce Arena happy with USMNT, and more!

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! There are a good pair of games today for your viewing purposes. The USMNT will take on Nicaragua in its final match of the group stage at 7 p.m. Then at 7:30, the Orlando Pride are going to play against FC Kansas City. With that, let’s get to the links.

Budalic Ready to Buy Players

The transfer window is officially open and Orlando City GM Niki Budalic has stated that he is "prepared to pull the trigger." Budalic says the club is looking to sign a number 10 type player who can effectively replace the hole left by Kevin Molino and Matías Pérez Garcia. Juan Quintero, who has been linked with Orlando City, would definitely fill that role.

Kaká Reportedly Wanted by Indian Super League Clubs

I want to make something very clear: Kaká is extremely likely to stay with Orlando City for the remainder of the season. I know alarm bells go off anytime it’s reported that clubs want Kaká, but these reports aren’t too worrisome. Apparently, multiple Indian Super League clubs have enquired about the availability of the Orlando City star. Hopefully, whoever they contacted quickly gave them the bad news—that he’s not for sale.

Bruce Arena Happy with Martinique Performance

Most USMNT fans were understandably disappointed when their team only managed to beat Martinique 3-2. It sounds weird to be unhappy with a win, but come on, if the Yanks want to be a force on the international stage then they have to beat teams like Martinique in a more commanding fashion, even with a B team. Head Coach Bruce Arena didn’t see what most fans saw. He claims there were "a lot of positives," but Arena probably did see all the negative things too. One sign is the arrival of Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley into the U.S. camp. Arena can make six changes to the roster for the knockout rounds and will likely use most of them, if not all, to bring some of his regulars into the team. For the future, if the U.S. keeps winning, then Arena’s optimistic attitude might catch on with the fans.

Darren Eales "Roasts" Orlando City

The president of Atlanta United, Darren Eales, takes a jab at Orlando City with a tweet. As you can see in the tweet below, he implies that OCSC will be down 6-0 to Atlanta United in the first half. Don’t be alarmed by the score though. Even if somehow Atlanta does take that lead, they’ll probably end up losing the game anyway. I mean, did Darren Eales not watch the Super Bowl or something? Atlanta fans aren’t allowed to make sports jokes anymore.

OCSC Academy Player Named to USSDA U-17/18 Best XI

A member of Orlando City’s U-17/18 team, Raul Aguilera, has been listed on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Best XI for his great play this season. The midfielder helped his team to its best ever playoff finish in 2017.

Ibrahimovic Close to Signing With LA Galaxy?

The man of many clubs, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is reportedly close to taking his talents to LA Galaxy. The 36-year-old goal machine would be a great addition to the MLS family and might also take the title of most expensive MLS player ever from Kaká. Ibrahimovic is currently injured but will recover in time for next season, or maybe even for this season’s playoffs. Orlando City fans should definitely be happy to know that he’ll be in the Western Conference and therefore not be able to pull any of his famous Ibracadabra magic against Orlando.

And that concludes this edition of Lion Links. Be sure to check back later for full coverage of the Orlando Pride match and the USMNT Gold Cup game. Have a wonderful Saturday!

We leave you today with the good work of the Ruckus, who raised $6,000 for the Zebra Coalition, which is a network of organizations that provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth. The Ruckus presented a check to the Zebra Coalition at the Broken Cauldron brewery prior to Orlando City’s match against Toronto FC on July 5. Good work, folks!

Image courtesy of Jerry Updike.