There’s something amazing about the sport of soccer. No other sport is called the beautiful game. Normally, the term refers to the game itself, but there are times that we are reminded the impact of soccer as a force for good. From groups like Soccer Without Borders and their effort to create positive change to the social impact soccer has in the Middle East for women, the power of soccer can be felt globally.
This power was demonstrated once again when Jamie Morris, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, took to Twitter Sunday to pay homage to her fallen teammate, Alyssa Alhadeff, who was one of the the 17 victims in the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Please help us get in touch with @ussoccer_wnt @ussoccer to honor our teammate and friend Alyssa Alhadeff. #NeverAgain #Parkland #MSDStrong #ParklandStrong #AlyssaAlhadeff #MSD #ussoccer pic.twitter.com/4kb4lqC8ho
— jamie morris (@jamiemorris03) February 25, 2018
In slightly over three hours, her plea managed to draw the attention of U.S. women’s national team forward Alex Morgan, as well as Orlando City Foundation President, Kay Rawlins:
We would absolutely love to host you and honor Alyssa at our game. You are also welcome at any Orlando Pride game if you’d like, starting with our home opener March 24. #NeverAgainMSD
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) February 25, 2018
We’re on it!
— Kay Rawlins (@Kay_Rawlins) February 25, 2018
The viral tweet from Florida will now see the hoped-for results, as there will be a moment of silence for Alyssa, who played as a center midfielder, at the March 7 SheBelieves Cup match in Orlando. The City of Orlando is already sensitive to senseless gun violence after the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. Orlando City has a permanent reminder in the stadium, with 49 rainbow seats serving as a tribute to the victims of that shooting.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped @jamiemorris03's tweet spread and make its way to us. We got in touch with Alyssa’s family last week and are honored to say they will be at our match in Orlando on March 7, where we will hold a moment of silence to honor her life. pic.twitter.com/2OwbB40fMI
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) February 25, 2018
U.S. Soccer also stated on Twitter that Alyssa’s teammates will be be guests at the Orlando match. As the #NeverAgain movement continues to be a force for change in America, it also allows the power of one voice from a mourning team multiplied by Twitter with the common link of soccer to allow these survivors another avenue to help in the healing process. I look forward being in the stands for the SheBelieves matches in Orlando, as well as, surely, a future Orlando Pride match when Alyssa’s life can be honored. Even though her life was tragically cut short, her spirit will continue to live on.