What Saturday’s MLS fixture means to Orlando City SC fans

Saturday sees the return of our beloved Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer action, facing a San Jose Earthquakes team who have endured a patchy season so far with only two victories from their last eight fixtures.

Considering the Lions haven’t lost at Camping World Stadium since last July against New York Red Bulls, a positive result represents a daunting task for Dominic Kinnear’s Quakes.

With Orlando City SC unbeaten at home as well as having scored in every game so far this campaign, a three-week break has given the squad ample time to both recuperate and reflect.

Adrian Heath should’ve now had plenty of time to try to sure up the Lions’ leaky defence which on the whole, has provided the only grumbles in an otherwise positive start to the campaign.

A victory will see City climb back up into the MLS Eastern Conference play-off places and in a topsy turvy campaign, we’d all be smiling once again.

All of that said, as of June 12th, this MLS fixture suddenly became so much more than football alone!

In the aftermath of one of the worst shooting tragedies in U.S. history, this game has now become about themes of togetherness, unity, respect and pride, arguably more than any other fixture in recent history on a global scale.

It must be said, the positive reaction of the people of Orlando, and Florida as a whole, has been absolutely fantastic.

Orlando has always had a place in my heart, along with many others is the UK despite the fact we’re located over 4000 miles away across the pond!

Seeing that show of fellowship over the weekend instantly restored my faith in humanity!

What Orlando City SC have already announced in regards to donations to victims, pre-game togetherness, commemorative merchandise and a moment of silence is all brilliant and truly shows how much this club cares for the city as much as the city cares for it.

So now it’s time to embrace #OrlandoUnited while continuing to Defy Expectations once more in a powerful showing of unity and support but also sending a strong message that no matter what, Orlando always comes back stronger.

Our thoughts go out to the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, as well as Christina Grimmie, not to mention the two-year-old boy snatched by an alligator near Walt Disney World most recently.

Our thoughts also go out to the injured victims in hospital and all the families and friends affected by this terrible trio of tragedies.

Nevertheless, football has always been a sport that brings people together, and as commentator Clive Tyldesley said after France’s first game at Euro 2016 about match-winner Dimitri Payet; “One swing of the left boot changed the mood of a nation”

It’s time that The City Beautiful unites to change the mood of a nation once again!

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