So normally on game day or the night before I post a match preview. But this week I just couldn't bring myself to do it for either the MLS or the Pride. Both are playing tonight, so there are six points up for grabs.
But the points really don't even feel like they matter this week. What matters is remembering innocent people gunned down because they chose to have what should have been a fun night out at a club that is welcoming to the LGBT community. There are a number of special events planned for the night, some organized by the club and one organized by fans through social media. For today's "match previews" I'm going to focus on these. I expect to be back to regular programming tomorrow, with recap write-ups for both the OCSC and Pride matches.
The Pride are away playing the Washington Spirit tonight at 7pm. The game will be on YouTube, and there are a number of dedicated members of the Crown supporters group who made the trip up to DC, while another group will be gathered at the Rogue Pub on Curry Ford Road to watch on TV. I'll have to this game late tonight after getting home from the match because sadly they haven't invented a WiFi that can smoothly stream video to 60,000 devices simultaneously yet.
Both the Pride and the Spirit will be wearing special armbands during the match and #OrlandoUnited t-shirts during pregame warmups. In addition, the match will be stopped at the 49th minute for a moment of silence to remember the 49 victims of the attack at the Pulse nightclub.
The MLS side are playing at home tonight, hosting the San Jose Earthquakes. There will be a number of special events both before and during the match to recognize and remember the victims of the massacre at the Pulse.
Prior to pre-game and in the concourses:
- The #OrlandoUnited t-shirts will be on sale before the match, with all proceeds going to the OneOrlando fund.
- The club will also be selling a matchday #OrlandoUnited poster with proceeds going to the OneOrlando fund.
- Both teams will be wearing an #OrlandoUnited patch on their kits, which will be auctioned for charity at a later date.
Events during pre-game:
- National anthem to be sung by the fans, led by Naome Bradshaw.
- Pre-game celebration of first responders and medical support staff after the national anthem.
During the match:
- Orlando City released images yesterday of a special gameday kit the players will wear. The shirts will be all black, with the #OrlandoUnited heart logo prominent above the Orlando Health logo on the front of the kit.
- The match will be suspended at the 49th minute for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the Pulse massacre.
Also it probably goes without saying, but there will be added security at the match tonight. Fans are being encouraged to start entering the stadium as soon as gates open.
As for me, I will encourage everyone who is in town to go to the game tonight, and I hope everyone will be safe. If you can't attend or live out of the area, try to watch the game on TV. Locally the match will air on Orlando's TV 27; outside of the area I am uncertain if there will be national TV coverage other than watching the feed through the MLS Live app online or on a mobile device.