2012 MLS – Earthquakes visit the 5280 frozen pitch

Saturday night the Colorado Rapids hosted the San Jose Earthquakes on the frozen tundra of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.  The temperature was a frigid 32 degrees and it was spitting snow all evening.

Oct. 6, 2012 – Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings (14) with socks on his hands to keep warm in the 32 degree temperatures during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Unlike Friday nights high school football game, I came prepared with a sweatshirt under one of my light ski jackets, gloves, a winter cap and a face mask.  I was nice and toasty.  It was spitting snow, which was kind of a disappointment.  I was really hoping for it to start dumping on the field during the game, but it just was a light snow trying to fall.

Oct. 6, 2012 – Colorado Rapids forward Andre Akpan (19) tries to get a shot off past San Jose Earthquakes defender/midfielder Justin Morrow (15) during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.

It was a wild game.  Thankfully, it seems that my custom function change on my 7D fixed my focus issues.  Sure is nice to get things in focus on a regular basis.  This was a fun game to shoot, and included a bunch of yellow cards and near the end of the game one of the San Jose players was tagged with a Red Card.

Oct. 6, 2012 – Colorado Rapids defender Luis Zapata (21) in action during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

San Jose scored right off the bat, 2 minutes into the game, and it was not until late in the second half before Colorado could get on the board on a penalty kick.  And it is not because Colorado was not getting any shots on goal, they were getting quite a few.  They just could not find the back of the net.

Oct. 6, 2012 – Colorado Rapids defender Luis Zapata (21)launches a shot on goal during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

This next series was one of my favorites of the night.  I actually have a couple more photos from this burst that I could have included.  The first shot, Omar Cummings just burned Justin Morrow, and in the second shot, he sent a missile off of his foot towards the goal, bit it went wide.  The shot after this one, which I did not post, shows the goalie diving for the ball and looking right at me….  After I took that shot, I pulled my camera to the side and stuck my hand up to stop the ball from hitting my face.  Yes, my hand stung for about 5 minutes.  I now know why goalies at this level wear those big padded gloves.

Oct. 6, 2012 – Commerce City, Colorado, U.S. – Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings (14) gets past the diving San Jose Earthquakes defender/midfielder Justin Morrow (15) during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Oct. 6, 2012 – Commerce City, Colorado, U.S. – Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings (14) fires off a rocket shot against San Jose during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

I was really happy with that last shot above.  It was actually selected as a Picture of the Day by ZumaPress who I shot the game for.  I had run up to the media room right before halftime to download and transmit photos, and got back down on the pitch in time to shoot about 30 minutes of the 2nd half.

Now, this next series, shows kind of how wild the game got.  It was almost like World Wrestling Entertainment had come out on the field.  In the first photo Colorado’s Drew Moor and San Jose’s Steven Lenhart are elevating for a header, but get tangled up (or grab each other).  As they came down it was almost like Drew was combining an old Jake the Snake Roberts DDT with a Paul Orndorf pile driver.

Oct. 6, 2012 – WWE meets MLS as Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) gets tangled up with San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart (24) during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Oct. 6, 2012 – WWE meets MLS as Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) gets tangled up with San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart (24) during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Oct. 6, 2012 – WWE meets MLS as Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) gets tangled up with San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart (24) during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

That last series delayed the game for a while, but Lenhart stayed in until late in the second half.

With temperatures at freezing, the stadium was not packed.  Those who were there were wrapped up in their warmest Rapids gear, and then there were these guys.

Oct. 6, 2012 – 32 degrees, snow flakes starting to fall, lets take off our shirts and cheer for the Rapids during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

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