2013 MLS San Jose at Colorado

I was starting to go a little stir crazy with nothing to shoot really over the last couple weeks.  I could not break away to cover the wildfires down by Colorado Springs, so I was making work for myself, spending a morning shooting Prairie Dogs, and taking mom for walks.  It had been two weeks since the Rapids had been home so I was looking forward to getting back onto the pitch to cover their game against San Jose at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

San Jose came into the game winless on the road and the Rapids were playing some good soccer as of late.  But even with the odds stacked in the Rapids favor, not a lot of people were at the game.  Not including Rapids staff, there were only 4 shooters there and just a couple writers.  I headed down to the field early to get a few stock type shots, and some Instagram photos before the game started.  While I was down on field level I noticed some birds hanging out on the pitch while the players were warming up.  There was one bird that was over by the players entrance so I started to work my way over to where it was, hoping I could get close enough to get some fun shots of it.  But USA Today contributing photographer Ron Chenoy had the same idea and was a few steps in front of me as I headed over to the bird.

June 15th, 2013 - USA Today contributing photographer Ron Chenoy photographs a juvenile bird next to the pitch prior to the start of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – USA Today contributing photographer Ron Chenoy photographs a juvenile bird next to the pitch prior to the start of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

But, finally, Ron got out of my way so I could get some shots of the little bird before it had to go away.

June 15th, 2013 - A juvenile bird sits on the pitch taking in the pre game warm ups prior to the start of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – A juvenile bird sits on the pitch taking in the pre game warm ups prior to the start of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

During the pre game warm ups and bird photography, the skies were overcast, making it look like we were going to get some beautiful, even light for the game.  Then a downpour hit with rain drops the size of dimes.  But no sooner did the deluge start, it ended, and the sun came out, again bathing the field in a combination of beautiful warm sunlight and dark shadows from the seating areas.

June 15th, 2013 - San Jose Earthquake midfielder Walter Martinez (10) brings the ball down the field during first half action of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – San Jose Earthquake midfielder Walter Martinez (10) brings the ball down the field during first half action of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

I really like the light when the sun is coming in at this angle, but the amount of shadows coming in can limit you.  I could have switched from manual over to Aperture Priority, and tweaked my settings a little, but by exposing for the sun, you just get better looking shots.

June 15th, 2013 - San Jose Earthquake forward Steven Lenhart (16) winds-up for a shot past Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) resulting in the games first goal in the first half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – San Jose Earthquake forward Steven Lenhart (16) winds-up for a shot past Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) resulting in the games first goal in the first half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

San Jose, being one of the leagues worst road teams some how jumped on the scoreboard first with the above strike from forward Steven Lenhart.  He sailed the ball just past the Rapids keepers fingertips to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead that would hold up through the first half.  The game was very physical.  Lots of pushing, shoving and jersey grabbing.

June 15th, 2013 - San Jose Earthquake defender Steven Beitashour (33) goes airborne to kick the ball away from Colorado Rapids defender/midfielder Anthony Wallace (6) during the first half of action in the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – San Jose Earthquake defender Steven Beitashour (33) goes airborne to kick the ball away from Colorado Rapids defender/midfielder Anthony Wallace (6) during the first half of action in the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Being down 1-0, the Rapids were playing very hard trying to get back into the game.  Play was starting to get more and more physical.  There were a total of 5 yellow cards in the game, but the one that hurt was a red card issued to Rapids scorer Atiba Harris.

June 15th, 2013 - After receiving a red card, Colorado Rapids midfielder Atiba Harris (16) slowly walks off the field towards the locker rooms in the first half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – After receiving a red card, Colorado Rapids midfielder Atiba Harris (16) slowly walks off the field towards the locker rooms in the first half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

So now, the Rapids had to play the rest of the game down a man, and effectively giving San Jose a power play for a majority of the game.  It was going to be an uphill battle the rest of the game.  With about 15 minutes left in the first half, I headed to the media room to edit and caption my first half photos to send to NewSport Photo.  Things went pretty smooth in the media room and I was able to get back to the field before the start of the second half.

June 15th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) chases after the ball in the first half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) chases after the ball in the first half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Early in the second half, the Earthquakes added another goal taking a 2-0 lead and the Rapids had to turn it up even more.  They had quite a few scoring opportunities, but just could not find the back of the net.

June 15th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Martin Rivero (10) attempts to dribble the ball past the San Jose defense in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Martin Rivero (10) attempts to dribble the ball past the San Jose defense in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Being one man down, finding someone open was very hard.  And, as you can see by the photo bellow, San Jose was grabbing jersey’s quite a bit.

June 15th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids forward Edson Buddle (9) and San Jose Earthquake defender Nana Attakora (23) fight for control of the ball in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids forward Edson Buddle (9) and San Jose Earthquake defender Nana Attakora (23) fight for control of the ball in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Then the cards started to fall in place for the Rapids as midfielder Brian Mullan crossed the ball in front of the goal.  In the picture bellow you see that cross, and in the photo directly bellow it, you see the result as Nathan Sturgis connected his head to the pass from Mullan and sent it past the Earthquakes goalkeeper for the Rapids first goal of the game.

June 15th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) captured an assist with the crossing pass in the second half of action in the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) captured an assist with the crossing pass in the second half of action in the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Nathan Sturgis (24) heads a pass into the net for a goal in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Nathan Sturgis (24) heads a pass into the net for a goal in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

The Rapids had a lot more chances to tie the game up, but unfortunately, just could not find the back of the net a second time.  A couple calls by the officials late in the game upset the Rapids to the point that there was a scuffle between the coaching staff and Earthquake players.

June 15th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillon (23) makes a diving header attempt in the second half of action in the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillon (23) makes a diving header attempt in the second half of action in the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

So the Rapids gave the Earthquakes their first road win of the season.  Other than the loss, it was a great game to shoot.  Lots of action and a bird too boot.

June 15th, 2013 - Showing off his ball handling skills, Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) attempts to get past San Jose Earthquake midfielder Walter Martinez (10) in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

June 15th, 2013 – Showing off his ball handling skills, Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) attempts to get past San Jose Earthquake midfielder Walter Martinez (10) in the second half of the MLS match between San Jose Earthquake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Images are available for media use only through Corbis and NewSport Photo.

Share Button

Comments are closed.