MLS – Rocky Mountain Cup

So after having a international friendly under my belt, it was time to head back to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and shoot an actual MLS game.  And what a great game to start with, but a match between the home town Colorado Rapids and the team from the other side of the Rocky Mountains, Real Salt Lake.

August 4, 2012: Real Salt Lake fans hold a giant banner for their team prior to the start of the match against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

This time, however, there were a lot more fans, many of which made the trip across the mountains to support the visiting team.  I need to get into a habit of watching for interesting fans.  There were quite a few there last Saturday night.

August 4, 2012:Real Salt Lake fans supporting their team in a 0-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado

I tried to get a good shot of the teams coming onto the field being escorted onto the pitch by local youth soccer players, but I was shooting with my 24-70mm lens, when I should have grabbed my 17-40mm.  Live and learn…I did get a nice shot of the ball waiting for the game to start.

August 4, 2012: The game ball awaits the teams to take the pitch at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The game was very good, and very physical.  There was a lot of shoving between the players, and in the first half, a fight broke out, but the Rapid’s goalkeeper was right there to pull them apart.

August 4, 2012: Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens (18) tries to pull Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saboru (15) away from teammate Drew Moor (3) as tempers flare in the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado

I got my first chance to try out my new folding stool I mentioned in my Major League Friendly post.  It was great.  The drawback is, I over packed.  Besides my backpack, I went with my ThinkTank Photo belt system, and it was just too much to deal with.  Next game, no belt pack.

August 4, 2012: Colorado Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillon (23) out jumps Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran (2) for the header in the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado

It is really fun shooting these players.  They are all so good.  I enjoyed shooting high school soccer in Alaska, but with the exception of players like Kelly Cobb, Kelsey Reeves (watch for this 2012/2013 college freshman goalie for the College of St. Scholastica), and Meg Byman, but having a team full of pros is just fun to shoot.

August 4, 2012: Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) and Real Salt Lake midfielder Jonny Steele (22) chase after the ball in the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado

Yes, that ball in the picture was coming right at me, but I was a good 10 feet off the sideline and was pretty safe.  I got to meet a few more local photographers at this game.  Oh, the game, in the first half, Rapids midfielder, Joseph Nane scored his first career MLS goal to give the Rapids a 1-0 lead over Real Salt Lake.  That was all the Rapids would need to win the game and the Rocky Mountain Cup.

August 4, 2012: Real Salt Lake midfielder Jonny Steele (22) handles the ball as his team would fall 0-1 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

All the photos in this post are available for MEDIA use only.  Please visit Zuma Press to purchase your photos.

 

August 4, 2012: Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings (14) drives the ball through the Real Salt Lake defense on the way to a 1-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Oh, and my post game ritual?  Stop at Sonic for a Super Sonic Jalapeño Cheeseburger and a Large Diet Cherry Limeade to eat while I edit and caption my photos.

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