MLS Chivas USA Experience 5280

Saturday night I headed back to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for my 3rd Colorado Rapids game.  Chivas USA was in town to play the hometown Rapids.  Unfortunately, the Denver Broncos were facing the Seattle Seahawks in a preseason game at the same time the soccer game was going on, and that made for traffic going to the stadium interesting.  I decided to halfway listen to my GPS, but whenever it tried to make me get on the freeways, I drove right past the onramps and made Yoda (the voice of my GPS) recalculate.  It took me a little longer but it was well worth it as I still got to the stadium in plenty of time to head to the media room, have some dinner, chat and meet some other shooters and get set up for the game.

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: The Chivas USA team poses for a team shot prior to the start of their match against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

I really like how the Rapids treat media.  It is like they bend over backwards for them.  Where the Rockies will not credential anyone, the Rapids will credential almost anyone, and when a new photographer shows up, they make sure they are in the right locations, and you never see them getting pushed around by field security, like you would at a pro football game.  Anyway, I pull up right next to the stadium, and run into the media entrance to grab my credentials, then head back to park in a lot just across a closed street from the media entrance.  Grab my gear and head back into the stadium and into the media room.  Once up there I grab the most current media updates for the game and a sandwich from Jimmy Johns, sit down and go through my code replacement roster with the most current, make changes, eat, check my email, and then head down to the field.

Prior to the teams officially taking the field I met a couple photographers new to the Rapids.  Peter Eklund and Trevor Brown.  Trevor was on his first assignment for Getty images, since their main photographer was at the Bronco’s game, and Peter was there shooting for himself.  I did not see any of the main photographers I had seen during the first couple games I shot at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, so suddenly, a lot of photographers were asking me questions on where they could shoot, where they couldn’t shoot, where is the media room, where is the bathroom, etc.

Anyway, I grabbed my wide angle lens and headed over to where the teams come in, got some shots of Edson the Eagle, one of the team mascots, placing the game ball on the MLS pedestal and got the teams coming in, then ran over to midfield to shoot the National Anthem, and the teams.  For the first time I was able to grab the above team photo of Chivas.  Most of the time the officials are herding the photographers out of the team areas by this time, but Chivas USA lined up right in front of me.

The first half started with me lined up on the sideline, just behind the line for the top of the goal box.  This gave me a good line up the field, and both goals.  A lot of the action took place on the end I was shooting, but it was moving very fast.  I would have great lines on midfielders bringing the ball down the field, then suddenly the ball is in the goal box and a quick shot was taken…was not easy to transition quickly from midfield to the goal.

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: Chivas USA midfielder Shalrie Joseph (18) tries to get free from Colorado Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz (4) in the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

I was disappointed to miss the goal by Brian Mullan.  I had a great line on Shalrie Joseph of Chivas USA, then he changed directions, and a couple players got in between him and me as Mullan stole the ball and sent a rocket at the goal past the Chivas goalkeeper.  I did get the crowd reaction though…

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: Colorado Rapids fans celebrate midfielder Brian Mullan (11) first half goal against Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

So I was kind of bummed.  It was a great shot.  Soon after Mullan scored, it looked like I was going to get a goal chance, as Rapids forward Omar Cummings had a couple breaks towards the goal, but he was either off sides, could not get to the ball, shot high or wide, or got double teamed.

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings (14) tries to get free from the Chivas USA defense for a shot in the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

During the second half I moved from the sideline to the end line between the corner and the goal.  This would give me more shots coming at the goal, and corner kicks.  I wanted my goal, and when Tristan Bowen took a corner kick, I was focused on him and came around to see a missed shot from the corner get defected to  Juan Pablo Ángel’s in the 83rd-minute with the goal, keeper, and a bunch of players in between me and the shot and I missed it….  Drawback with soccer is scores are few and far between.  Here, in just over 90 minutes, we had 2 goals.  In 40 minutes of a college basketball game you will have over a combined 100 points or more typically.

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: Chivas USA defender/midfielder Jorge Villafana (19) tries to get around Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) in the second half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

So, besides missing the goals, I was focusing on catching a header.  Problem is, when the players are typically facing you for a header, they are all the way down the field when the goalie kicks the ball down field.  You can get headers in front of the goal on crosses and corner kicks.  But my goal since shooting the MLS was to get a nice head on ball shot.

Even with 8 frames per second, I typically get the ball after or right before it makes contact with the head.  Like the shot bellow.

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: Chivas USA forward Tristan Bowen (20) and Colorado Rapids midfielder Joseph Nane (5) elevate for a header in the second half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Even at 480mm, action at the other end of the field is a long way away….  I really wish I had a 400mm lens (640mm on my 7D).  But, I did finally get a head on ball…  I would have liked to get it closer to me, but it was a satisfying shot to get.

MLS 2012 - Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids

August 18th, 2012: Chivas USA teammates Ben Zemanski (21) and Jorge Villafana (19) go airborne for a ball in the second half of their game against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

The game ended in a 1-1 tie.  To see more images please go to my MLS 2012 Colorado Rapids vs Chivas USA gallery and to purchase photos for Media Use only, please visit Zuma Press.

So, while shooting the Denver Bronco’s game would have been fun, and more profitable, I was happy to shoot the Rapids for Zuma.  I enjoy soccer.  I got that from watching and shooting soccer back in High School in Seattle.  I enjoy playing soccer too, even though I have not played in a long, long, long time.

Speaking of high school, I will be heading back to school this next week…Tuesday and Wednesday I will be shooting high school softball, and the week after soccer and football.

Share Button

Comments are closed.