Orlando City honors Dylan Lyons, Grant Wahl before home opener win

Team posted a tweet and a photo that read “Forever with us” before its 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls

(Phelan M. Ebenhack, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC honored slain Central Florida journalist Dylan Lyons and soccer reporter Grant Wahl before their season and home opener at Exploria Stadium on Saturday.

The team posted a tweet and a photo that read “Forever with us” and two soccer jerseys with the names “Lyons” and “Wahl” along with their photos from inside the press box before their game against the NY Red Bulls.

Lyons, who worked for Spectrum News 13 since last summer, was one of three people fatally shot Wednesday in Pine Hills. Nathacha Augustin, 38, was shot to death in the morning, and Lyons was shot hours later while covering her homicide, authorities said.

The suspect, 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, then shot and killed 9-year-old T’yonna Major, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina.

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“Dylan wanted so badly to be a broadcast journalist,” said News 6 Reporter Erik Sandoval. “He was excited for his future, and we were excited for him. When I saw him last year at an awards ceremony (where he won), I gave him a huge hug. Dylan was talented. Dylan was electric. Dylan had a future.”

Wahl, an American journalist who helped grow the popularity of soccer in the U.S. and reported on some of the biggest stories in the sport, died while covering a World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. An autopsy revealed he died of an ascending aortic aneurysm.

Orlando City went on to win the game 1-0 on a Facundo Torres penalty kick in the 56th minute.

“I think the best part of the game for us was that we covered that intensity at the time and our hearts were great today,” Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja said. “It was a very deserving three points. We are happy and pleased with the heart and obviously the first game at home opening in front of our fans and getting three points against such a good rival is very valuable.”

Keeper Pedro Gallese made several key saves to keep Orlando City undefeated in home openers.

“I think he’s incredible, and we’re very pleased to have him for sure,” Pareja said of Gallese, who returned to the Lions in the offseason on a new two-year contract.

Before the game, the team also celebrated last fall’s Open Cup title by lifting a banner above supporter section.

Orlando City returns home to play FC Cincinnati on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.