The Orlando Pride announced at halftime of their match against the Chicago Red Stars this evening that the club will host its first ever Breast Cancer Awareness match in the team’s 2019 home finale on Saturday, Oct. 12 against Reign FC. In conjunction with the Breast Cancer Awareness match, there will be an NWSL-wide online auction to benefit Libby’s Legacy, an Orlando-based non-profit selected by Pride defender Toni Pressley, who was diagnosed with breast cancer on Aug. 7.
The auction component was actually spearheaded by Alyssa Naeher, Casey Short and the rest of the Chicago Red Stars, who wanted to provide support for Pressley and others impacted by breast cancer.
“The team here wanted to show our support to Toni during this time. I played with Toni during my time at Florida State and have always admired the person she is on the field, but more so off the field,” Red Stars defender Short said in a club press release. “The fact that we can come together as a league and put these items up for auction, not just us to show our love for Toni, but for our fans as well, is nothing short of amazing.”
Obviously this is a pretty great thing the Pride and the NWSL are doing. Not only will much-needed funds go to a worthy cause, but it shows how closely the players around the league are connected when you see them rally in support of one of their own in way that goes far beyond just posting messages on social media or sending Pressley a text.
“I can’t put into words what it means to have the support of the teams and players across the entire league. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude, from this auction to all of the tributes I have seen over the last month,” Pressley said in the club’s release. “I appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness and contributions to raise awareness for something that impacts, not just myself, but so many others.”
The Pride will wear limited-edition pink logo pre-match tops during warm-ups, which will be auctioned off following the match. The Pride, in partnership with sports apparel company Fanatics, will be offering two special merchandise items — a limited-edition t-shirt, which will be available in the Den at Exploria Stadium beginning Sept. 17, and a specialty scarf, which will be available starting Sept. 25. Both items can be purchased via presale at ShopOrlandoPride.com with a portion of the proceeds going to Libby’s Legacy, which provides comprehensive services to the underserved through education, mammograms, and patient support.
All nine NWSL teams have contributed to the online auction, with all profits going to Libby’s Legacy. The auction, which is underway, will run until Friday, Oct. 10, and can be found here. Some of the auction items include autographed boots from 2017 NWSL MVP Sam Kerr, a signed U.S. Women’s National Team jersey from Pride striker and 2019 Women’s World Cup champion Alex Morgan, a ball signed by the entire North Carolina Courage roster, and more.
Tickets for the Oct. 12 match are available here for just $21 with $5 from each ticket going to Libby’s Legacy.