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Lion Links: 2/18/18

OCSC looks good, VAR controversy, Robben weighing future, and much more.

MLS: Real Salt Lake vs. Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Frida...oh wait. Happy Sunday folks. I know, you are used to reading me on Friday mornings, but as Marcus said in the Friday Links, we needed to mix a few things up for a bit. Just gives each of us a different day to bring our own brand of insanity and snark to those links you crave. Without further ado, let’s jump right in the deep end and I hope you enjoy today’s menu of reading entrees.

Lions’ Preseason Continues

Orlando City held another closed door practice on Saturday, although the club did stream the final 15 minutes or so on the Lion Nation app. No idea of the starting XI, but some information did sneak out beyond the video and commentary.

Sacha Kljestan and Chris Mueller have been killing this preseason. I think we all expected Sacha to excel, but Mueller is working hard to move himself up the charts, showing no fear or intimidation by the move to MLS.

Based on some crack research, here is Orlando City’s record in preseason for the past years thanks to our own Sean Rollins:

2011 - 7-2-0

2012 - 6-2-3

2013 - 8-2-1

2014 - 5-2-4

2015 - 1-1-5

2016 - 3-1-1

2017 - 2-2-2

2018 - 4-0-0

I will leave the rest of the deductions to you.

VAR is Having Issues

If you are like me, waking up Saturday and Sunday mornings is a ritual, either to watch football in England or Germany. This weekend saw the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup in England being played, including a match between EPL teams Manchester United and Huddersfield Town AFC (managed by American David Wagner, one of my top choices to coach the USMNT). VAR was used on what seemed like an epic run from Juan Mata, only to be overturned by the video assistant referee. Below is apparently what the VAR was looking at. I know math is hard for some people, but squiggly crooked lines?

If you’re not sure what’s amiss, the lines should be parallel to the top of the box and they are...well, not. And thank you internet for allowing responses like this:

New USSF President faces Challenges

From one new president to another, FIFA President Gianni Infantino sat down and had some friendly advice for newly elected USSF President Carlos Cordeiro. Some very nice things are said, and some quality points are brought up. We all know the hurdles that need to be overcome, and hopefully Cordeiro is willing to lead the charge for true change in the USSF.

Robben on the Move

Arjen Robben says he feels very fit. He has no plans to retire. He currently starts for the German powerhouse FC Bayern Munich. He has played and led the Orange Army in multiple World Cups, although, like the U.S., they will be missing Russia 2018, and his contract with Bayern is about to expire. I won’t ruin the link for you, but it looks like Arjen is not planning on going into managing, and is exploring options to continue playing, even if that does not include playing for Bayern.

Free Kicks

That is about it for today, friends. We are kicking off a new week, which means that I will be anxiously waiting to see what surprise Alex Leitão has in store for us (remember his cryptic tweets) tomorrow. The feels are getting bigger, the anticipation is growing, and my desire for Reef Donkey is growing! We are less than two weeks out, folks. I hope you are ready!