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Lion Links: 7/3/17

Lions happy with win but not performance, Confederations Cup champions crowned, World Cup talk, and more.

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MLS: Orlando City SC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Monday and you know what that means, it is time for another edition of Lion Links as we get ready for the Fourth and all of the celebrations that go along with it. Today, we have a little bit of news coming from Orlando City but a lot of news coming from international games.

Orlando City Pleased with Result

Jason Kreis and Orlando City earned three points on the road and it is something they are certainly proud about at the moment, even if it wasn’t all that pretty.

“The performance wasn’t pretty,” Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson said. “A lot of those games we won early in the year weren’t pretty, but they were together. They were passionate. There was energy. There was effort. And, we got away from that a little bit.”

The team played very defensively throughout the match but succeeded in earning the three points, something the Lions have struggled to do the last several weeks.

Germany’s Youth Prevail in World Cup Warm-up

Germany sent a young team to the Confederations Cup and the risk turned out to be worth it as the young side prevailed and won. At an average age of 23, Germany was able to conquer a great, experienced Chile side, 1-0. The Confederations Cup is seen as a warm-up for the host (Russia) of the World Cup and for the German side it was a chance to see which players were capable of stepping up. The answer was all of them.

St. Petersburg Faces Problems Ahead of 2018 World Cup

From the outsider’s view, St. Petersburg is every bit ready for the World Cup in 2018. However, questions still remain about the overall performance of the pitch and if it will be as ready as the stadium appears to be.

"The grass was very poor at the games against Ural and Terek, and it was obvious that it failed to grow. Now they tried to put temporary grass, but it looks like there are significant problems with it as well. It remains to be seen what could possibly be done ahead of the next summer, but the hands could be tied," Kopylova said. ESPN FC tried to contact Aleksey Sorokin, CEO of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee, regarding the issue, but got no answers.

If the grass at the stadium does not get to where it needs to be, do you wonder if St. Petersburg will face any FIFA ramifications?

Qatar Faces Building Issues with World Cup Looming

More problems face Qatar and that country’s chances of having a successful World Cup continues to be a question. With the diplomatic row engulfing the Middle East still unresolved, major companies have plans to pull out of developmental plans which would heavily derail plans on stadiums, travel and lodging.

Senior industry sources said multiple multinational building firms are working on departure or downsizing plans for their Qatar teams, as ongoing trade sanctions threaten to derail the £160bn building programme the country needs to finish to host football’s top tournament. These include eight state-of-the-art stadiums, a new metro system for the capital Doha and 60,000 hotel rooms.

VAR Gives a Yellow Card in Confederation Final

VAR, which is short for Virtual Assistant Referee, will still be used going forward. In yesterday’s championship game at the Conferdations Cup, fans were witness to VAR being used, which resulted in a yellow card being shown to a field player. The idea of VAR is to help make sure that all calls are called correctly. For now, nothing has digressed and FIFA plans to use VAR at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

“Nothing is standing in the way of using VARs [at the World Cup], as far as I’m concerned. So far it has been successful. We are learning, we are improving, we are continuing the tests.”

That is all from me today. Enjoy the rest of your day.