Update (9:47 p.m.): The teams played 18 minutes before lightning again forced the players and fans to seek shelter. Orlando City was playing well, controlling possession and creating chances so it's a shame that Mother Nature isn't cooperating. We'll keep you posted but it will be at least a half an hour before we can get back underway.
The skies over Orlando opened up in the lead-up to tonight's match between Orlando City and the Chicago Fire. Although there was no lightning sighted in the area, the club delayed the start of the match for 20 minutes and then again with a scheduled start time of 8:38.
But just as the teams were about to take the field, lightning moved into the area, forcing fans to seek shelter and delaying the game further. As of 8:50 p.m., the players will be on the field at 9:05, followed by a 15-minute warmup and kickoff at 9:20. Pregame ceremonies have been canceled due to the weather.
8:46 p.m. we have no word on a start time, although television has reported a 9:08 start time. MLS rules mandate waiting a specific number of minutes after the last lightning strike in the area to start the game.
Had the game started at its originally scheduled time, fans and players would have gotten wet, but the game would have reached halftime before the lightning moved in. As it is, the league will do everything in its power to get this game in tonight. If it cannot be played, it would likely be moved to a mid-week slot in September or October.
Also, the suspensions of Adrian Winter and Rafael Ramos would carry into the international window, when Orlando City will already be missing several key players, such as Cyle Larin, Kaká, and Darwin Ceren.