Last night's match in front of almost 40,000 screaming fans was a much different type of game than we're used to. For starters, not everyone was wearing purple. The fans created a rainbow across the stadium by wearing different colors in different sections in memory of the Pulse shooting victims of a week ago.
There were tributes galore to the fallen as well as to the community's first responders, special shirts for warm-ups and player introductions, patches on the jerseys, special music throughout the match, the names of the victims on the scoreboard and advertising boards during pregame, a rousing National Anthem sung by the fans themselves, and of course, that magical moment of silence in the 49th minute.
Somewhere in the middle of all of that, a soccer match was played. Twice the Lions claimed the lead in the second half, but the visitors were able to fight their way level both times. The second instance it was just on the cusp of full time when the Earthquakes pulled back a goal.
It was an honor to be a part of such an event and to get to shoot it from field level. Please enjoy these photos from a 2-2 draw between Orlando City and the San Jose Earthquakes that was much bigger than the normal MLS regular-season game.