Hurricane Irma is hurtling toward Orlando with sustained Category 5 winds. It already moved the Reign's match. Now they're petitioning the league further.
The NWSL on Wednesday moved the Reign’s match at Orlando up two days, from Saturday to Thursday, because Florida is in the projected path of Hurricane Irma.
Now Reign players are asking the league to postpone the match so Seattle’s players can get out of Orlando safely.
“Being in Orlando isn’t safe,” midfielder Jessica Fishlock tweeted Wednesday. “It’s scary & I can’t help but feel that the number 1 priority should be us getting out of here now.”
Reign star forward Megan Rapinoe echoed Fishlock’s sentiment and called on the NWSL to take action, also offering her sympathies to the Pride.
“It’s difficult for us players to understand why the priority is to play this game rather than get out of this area,” Rapinoe tweeted. “For [Orlando Pride] players, they should focus on keeping themselves and their homes and their loved ones safe.”
Hurricane Irma is hurtling through the Caribbean Islands, having already wreaked havoc on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The Category 5 hurricane has sustained winds of 185 mph for a day as it continued toward Florida, projected to make landfall in the southeastern U.S. over the weekend. As of Wednesday afternoon, the storm was not supposed to hit Orlando until late Sunday.
The Reign had been training in Orlando since its win in Houston on Sunday, making it little hassle to move the match up two days. Originally scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, the match will be played at 5 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.
Seattle and Orlando are battling for a playoff spot. The Reign, with 30 points, are fifth and five points back of the Pride, who can clinch a spot with a win.