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Orlando City hosts Puerto Rico national team to raise money after Hurricane Maria

Team auctions off jerseys, specialty merchandise to raise money

ORLANDO, Fla. – The season is over, but there was still time to play one more soccer game for Orlando City SC Saturday night, facing off against the Puerto Rico national team.

It's all to raise money for those still suffering from the devastation after Hurricane Maria, with all of the proceeds from tickets, concessions and merchandise going toward the United For Puerto Rico fund.

It didn't really matter for many what the final score was. Everyone was essentially cheering for the same thing -- and it wasn't for that clutch goal.

Walking out of the stadium, fans of Orlando City SC and the Puerto Rico national team had one thing on their minds, and that was helping those still on the island, some still without power or water for six weeks.

"Some of my family still don't have water or electricity, and they live in the metropolitan area," said Annette Gamarra of Deltona. "So we still need it. There are a lot of people in the farms that have nothing at all."

Domingo Pietri's friend just lost his 16-year-old daughter Friday due to bacteria in the water back on the island.

"Our people back down on the island are suffering," he said.

"It's my home away from home," said Cindy Velez, whose parents are staying in Orlando. They visited from Puerto Rico before the hurricane for a vacation and they still can't go home.

"We're just here to help," she added. "They're our families and whatever we can do to help, we're going to do it."

It's not just the money raised from tickets, concessions and merchandise that will go toward helping those in Puerto Rico.

The jerseys the Orlando City SC players were wearing also will be auctioned off online to help those as recovery efforts continue.


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