It's a somber Saturday, Mane Landers. Tonight, the city of Orlando will remember our fallen friends and family. It's a big step towards healing as a community but we still have a long way to go. Tonight, we have an opportunity to come together, not as supporters, but as Orlandoans. Tonight, what matters is happening off the pitch. As MLSsoccer.com Editor Arrielle Castillo writes, it's a chance for a moment of catharsis. As you'll see in our first link, we're not alone in this process. And with that, here are today's Lion Links:
This weekend, there will be several memorials to the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy. Sports organizations around the state and nationally will honor and remember those we lost. Orlando City's opponents, the San Jose Earthquakes, will be donning black armbands for the match tonight and both teams will have Orlando United patches on their jerseys. Back in San Jose, the club will be hosting a fundraising event for the OneOrlando Fund. The Orlando faithful will be attempting to paint Camping World Stadium in a rainbow of shirts by section while the club hosts first responders and will stop play at 49' to remember the victims.
The Pride's competitors will also be honoring the victims tonight as the Washington Spirit will be applauding for the entirety of the 49th minute and raffling off a signed Ashlyn Harris jersey with all proceeds going toward the OneOrlando Fund. Around the NWSL, the Western New York Flash wore the number 49 on their wrists during their match with the Portland Thorns.
In Tampa, the Rays wore special caps against the San Francisco Giants, which were signed and auctioned off for the Pulse Victims Fund. They also had a touching video that you can watch below.
It's an honor to see so many people and organizations standing with Orlando from around the world. You never expect the violence to come to your hometown. If you'd like to contribute, Orlando Weekly has created a comprehensive list of some other ways you can help.
Ashlyn Harris Wins Again
It seems like every week Ashlyn Harris is collecting a Save of the Week award. And she's done it again for Week 8. Harris' stop against Samantha Mewis gave her a fifth Save of the Week crown in only eight weeks. At this rate, they may just have to rename the award.
Aubrey Bledsoe Out for the Season
In more unfortunate news, Harris' compatriot Aubrey Bledsoe has been ruled out for the season due to a fractured fibula. Bledsoe was the 10th player selected in the 2015 Expansion Draft and was expected to be the Pride's 'keeper whenever Harris was away with the national team. Megan Dorsey, out of the University of North Florida, has been signed on as her replacement. Dorsey was one of the Ospreys' best 'keepers in the history of the program, ranking first in career shutouts and second in career saves. She also holds the UNF record for saves in a match (20) and a season. The Pride should be in safe hands when Ashlyn is away.
Emerson Hyndman Lands in the Premiership
A lot of speculation swirled around U.S. midfielder Emerson Hyndman when he declined a new contract from Fulham. Yesterday, he ended all of that when he signed a four-year deal with AFC Bournemouth of the English Premier League. The Cherries avoided relegation last season, finishing 16th in the standings, and have an opportunity to fortify their position in the top flight. Hyndman joins a central midfield dominated by Dan Gosling, Harry Arter, and Drew Surman, but he should have the opportunity to compete for playing time. It's an exciting time for the United States as more and more of the country's talented youth prospects are being picked up in more competitive leagues. Hyndman joins DeAndre Yedlin, Christian Pulisic, and Bobby Wood in the youth movement in the top divisions of England and Germany. The more U.S. players are playing at the pinnacle of the game, the better the national team will become.
That's all for today's Lion Links. Check back often for our updates on tonight's City and Pride matches and, as always, Go Orlando.