Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão is urging fans to observe local shelter-in-place orders to help slow the spread of coronavirus. (Jordan Culver/Orlando Sentinel)
Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão released a letter to fans on Friday urging supporters to stay inside and remain unified amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
The club is entering its third week of a league-wide stoppage in play after MLS suspended matches and placed all teams under a training moratorium.
“You, our fans, are the lifeblood of our club,” Leitão wrote. “Your continued support and dedication to our teams keeps us motivated and moving forward in everything we do. From our daily sessions on the field, to game days on Church [Street] and even now — during conference calls from home and individual workouts from our living rooms — we continue to be focused on how we can provide the best soccer experience to you all when we return to play.”
Coronavirus deaths in Florida are currently doubling every four days, with the cases statewide nearing 3,000 as of Friday afternoon. Both Orange County and Osceola County — where the team’s stadium and training facility are located, respectively — established a stay-at-home order on Thursday night. This order limits all activity to only essential needs, such as buying groceries and other necessities.
Leitão asked supporters to follow this restriction and CDC guidelines as the city tries to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“Our community has been tested before and each time we stay strong, we stay connected and we use our sport to help heal,” Leitão said. “I have no doubt in my mind that we will do the same on the other side of this pandemic. I am proud, every single day, to be part of this club and I hope you are as proud as I am when you put on that purple jersey. Soccer will be back and we will fill Exploria Stadium once again with love, passion and energy.”