2013 MLS – Toronto at Colorado

Saturday night I made the switch from high school girls soccer to the big boys of Major League Soccer as Toronto F.C. made the trip across the boarder to face the burgundy boys at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.  It was a 7:00pm start, but only about 12,000 people showed up.  It was too bad because I found where I want to do my pano shot from.

My first thought was a straight on shot.

MLS 2013 - Toronto at Colorado - May 4

I loved the sky, but this just did not do justice to what I was envisioning.  So I headed over to the corner of the concourse level.

MLS 2013 - Toronto at Colorado - May 4

 

I can just imagine the shot above with players on the pitch, stands full of fans, blue sky, green pitch.  So I think I have found it.  The first shot above is about 16 or 17 shots stitched together, this one is about 7 shots.

Now to the game.  This was the first time I had been to a Toronto game since the Blue Jays played the Mariners in the Kingdome over a decade ago when I sat in the row behind Toronto’s bullpen, talking to Randy Meyers who played little league with my brother way back before we first moved to Alaska (around 35 or 36 years ago!)  I knew nothing about the soccer team from north of the boarder.   I typically look at rosters right before the game to see if there are any names that stand out to me, and I come up with a plan of what I want to get.  No one really jumped out at me, so I decided that I would shot the Rapids the first half, and stay in that same location for the second half and get Toronto on offense.

May 4th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Nick LaBrocca (2) uncorks a shot on goal in the first half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Nick LaBrocca (2) uncorks a shot on goal in the first half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

The clouds kind of rolled in a bit, so it was even, but dull light for most of the fist half.  The Rapids had a lot of great shots attempts but just could not convert in the fist half of play.

May 4th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) makes a quick move down the line with the ball in the first half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) makes a quick move down the line with the ball in the first half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

I was noticing a bit of focusing issues during the first half, and fought through them.  I think part of my problem is I got so use to shooting with my 1D cameras, I am use to how well and accurate they focus and the 7D is just not a 1D camera.  I need to spend more time watching the play unfold in front of me.  If I would have had a 1.4x TC I would try shooting with my 1D Mk II instead of my 7D and use the 7D for grab shots with a wider lens.

May 4th, 2013 - Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva (11) attempts to clear the ball away from Colorado Rapids midfielder Shane O'Neill (27) in the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva (11) attempts to clear the ball away from Colorado Rapids midfielder Shane O’Neill (27) in the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

It seems like the AF was getting messed up on peak action.  I would lock focus and track it fine until the peak action took place.  Then it would jump focus.  This is what is making me think it is the difference between the 1D series and the 7D series.  45 focus points (more on the newer 1D’s) compared to 19 focus points makes a difference.  Granted, I do not use all 45 points, but the AF system is just so much more advanced on the 1D series.  Anyone want to drop me $3K for a 1D Mk IV?  Tell you what, you buy me a 1D Mark 4, and I would do a free portrait sitting with you for life.  One portrait shoot a year from now on.  Family photo?  Newborn through their wedding?  We can make it happen.  Ok, back to the game.

May 4th, 2013 - Toronto FC midfielder Matías Laba (20) attempts to keep Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) away from the ball in action during the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Toronto FC midfielder Matías Laba (20) attempts to keep Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) away from the ball in action during the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

My corner was seeing a lot of action.  I was getting some pretty good shots when I grabbed focus.  So, after I headed up to the media room before halftime to download and transmit my photos to NewSport, I took a look at my 105mm filter on the front of my 120-300 lens.  It was filthy.  Had kind of a film on it.  So, I took it off for the second half, and my keeper rate did improve, but it still was not to the level I wanted.

May 4th, 2013 - Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva (11) shows off some fancy ball handling in the first half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva (11) shows off some fancy ball handling in the first half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

I was determined to get that great shot from this game though, and bellow was the start of what could have been a killer shot.  Silva had the ball and was grouped up on by the Rapid’s O’Neill and Sturgis.  As Sturgis came out with the ball, Silva got tangled up with O’Neill and took a convincing dive that would have been great, until another player closer to me walked right in front of me.  Dang it.

May 4th, 2013 - As Colorado Rapids midfielder Nathan Sturgis (24) breaks away with the ball, midfielder Nick LaBrocca (27) fouls Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva (11) during the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – As Colorado Rapids midfielder Nathan Sturgis (24) breaks away with the ball, midfielder Nick LaBrocca (27) fouls Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva (11) during the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Bellow was another shot I have been dying to grab.  A good ball on head shot, but, the 7D did not track it well (it was kind of a grab shot and I did not give the camera enough lead in to lock focus before the ball hit, but I did get it).

May 4th, 2013 - Toronto FC midfielder Darel Russell (16) heads the ball in the second half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Toronto FC midfielder Darel Russell (16) heads the ball in the second half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

The second half was not going good for either team until Toronto made a blunder that allowed Edson Buddle to score in the 86th minute for the winning goal.

May 4th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Shane O'Neill (27) kicks the ball away from Toronto FC midfielder Reggie Lambe (19) in the second half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

May 4th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Shane O’Neill (27) kicks the ball away from Toronto FC midfielder Reggie Lambe (19) in the second half of the MLS match between the Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

It was a great game, but I need a full stadium with perfect weather for the shot I want.  And I will get it.

All photos are available for media use only HERE.

 

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