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Lion Links: 7/18/17

Aubrey Bledsoe up for NWSL Save of the Week, Toni Pressley for Goal of the Week, Orlando Pride atop power rankings, and more!

Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

Greetings, Mane Landers. It’s Tuesday again. There isn’t much going on with the break in MLS, but there are plenty of Pride happenings to get us into the links.

Aubrey Bledsoe for Save of the Week

Aubrey Bledsoe has been nominated for Save of the Week (again) for her diving save against FC Kansas City. Visit @NWSL on Twitter to vote.

Toni Pressley Nominated for Goal of the Week

The Orlando Pride’s Toni Pressley was nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week for her effort in which she shook off a defender and put the ball in the corner from long distance. Visit the same @NWSL Twitter location to vote for her as well.

Orlando Pride Top NWSL Power Rankings

The Orlando Pride rose from No. 4 to No. 1 in the NWSL Power Rankings this week. The Pride’s 4-1 throttling of FC Kansas City opened some eyes. Alex Morgan notched her first goal since returning from Lyon, and the Pride now sit just three points out of a playoff spot. The squad is 4-2-1 in its last seven matches.

Expansion, Big Spending, Smart Bosses: How the West Lost Its Edge in MLS

Paul Tenorio of FourFourTwo explored how the Western Conference lost its edge in MLS. The Eastern Conference leads the head-to-head vs. the West this year, 31-20-21. Time will tell if this season is an anomaly or if the balance of power has evened out, because the West has been the dominant conference for almost 10 years.

Dynamo Sign Tomás Martinez

The Houston Dynamo signed 22-year-old midfielder Tomás Martinez as a Young Designated Player. Martinez arrives as a full transfer from Portuguese club S.C. Braga. Martinez will attempt to live up to his potential in MLS. As a youth, Barcelona and Arsenal were reportedly interested in him, but at Braga he was unable to catch on. He is still a young player, so there is time.

Bizarre But True: Leigh Griffiths Hit with UEFA Charge

Leigh Griffiths of Celtic was charged by UEFA for inciting spectators in Celtic’s 2-0 victory over Linfield of Northern Ireland in Champions League qualifying on July 14. Griffiths tied a Celtic scarf to the goal and fans responded by throwing objects onto the field.

The punishment may not fit the crime, but a lesson needed to be learned. Players can’t fan the emotional flames of a crowd, and that’s for their own safety. The tension had to be elevated for fans to begin throwing objects just for the scarf being tied to the goal.

Celtic is a world renowned club, so they should know better where they are playing. Different countries have different standards for fan etiquette. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor because you never know what the fans are capable of.

That’s all for this week. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for the all the news on Orlando City. Until next time.