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Lion Links: 7/7/17

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Gold Cup predictions, Larin is a one-man army, North America launches a World Cup bid and more!

New York City FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! Today is International Chocolate Day, but Americans actually have a different day for that — like you needed an excuse to eat chocolate. Also, the Gold Cup kicks off tonight, but unless you support Canada, French Guiana, Honduras, or Costa Rica, you’ll have to wait until Saturday to get your weekly dose of soccer. Now, I’d like to invite you to indulge in the sweet treat colloquially known as Lion Links.

Larin is One of the Most Irreplaceable Stars in MLS

Cyle Larin has been showing his worth on the pitch for a while and has now been recognized as the fourth-most irreplaceable star in all of Major League Soccer. While this is a great compliment to him, it does draw a bit of attention to what might happen if he does leave the City Beautiful. Number one on the list was NYCFC’s David Villa.

Ali Krieger Shows Her Love for the Pride

Ever since her move from the Washington Spirit to the Pride this year, Ali Krieger has fit right in, starting in every single match since her arrival. With Krieger set to return to Washington for the first time this Saturday, she decided to give her thoughts on her new team:

“I think that it’s so, so professional. I knew that coming into it but now, the caliber of players, the personnel that we have, from staff to players to even media to the club, everyone has been incredible and very professional with what they do. It’s the best team I’ve been on in the NWSL.”

Gold Cup Predictions

As mentioned before, the 2017 Gold Cup starts tonight, and of course that means it’s prediction time. The editors at mlssoccer.com helped answer the questions of who will win the tournament and who will win the golden boot. While they couldn’t really come to a consensus on who will win the golden boot — though it was nice to see Dom Dwyer get a couple votes — there was a general consensus that the USMNT will end up taking home the gold. Interestingly, in their Gold Cup power rankings, the United States actually came in second right behind Mexico. Costa Rica, which was put at the third spot, is also a team that should not be overlooked as the Ticos have brought their best possible roster. Bottom line, it should be an exciting tournament.

U.S., Mexico, and Canada Announce a Joint World Cup Bid

The idea has been talked about for a while, but it has now officially been announced that the United States, Mexico, and Canada have formed the United Bid Committee to try and bring the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world to North America. If achieved, it will be the first World Cup ever hosted by three countries. North America would definitely be equipped to host a 48-team World Cup, however FIFA has made it well known that it wants to bring the tournament all around the world, and the World Cup has already taken place in both Mexico and the United States.

Giovinco’s Reign of Terror Continues

On Wednesday night, Sebastian Giovinco continued to terrorize from free kicks when he scored another one against Orlando City. Before that goal, Giovinco had already rattled the crossbar with a swerving free kick earlier in the game. It’s not much of a consolation for OCSC fans, but he is on the brink of breaking the MLS record for most free kicks. He’s currently tied on nine with Atlanta United FC's Jeff Larentowicz and FC Dallas' Javier Morales.

That’s all for today’s links. Have a fantastic day! I leave you with a Kaká highlight video which will hopefully take your mind off of Giovinco and remember that he isn’t the only skillful DP in the league.