Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 25, 2013: Manchester City FC vs. Chelsea FC

Date:  May 25, 2013
Event:  Soccer at Yankee Stadium:  Manchester City FC vs. Chelsea FC
Cost:  $120 (for the ticket, $4 for the terrible coffee I got at half time because I was freezing)
Summary:  Soccer at Yankee Stadium?!  As in Yankee Stadium Yankee Stadium?  Clearly this is something I need to check out!

So, yeah, the summary pretty much is it.  A friend of mine tweeted me asking if I was going to this game at Yankee Stadium and, to be honest, I hadn't even heard that it was taking place.  But once I looked into it, it was something right up my alley.  I mean, I'm not a huge men's soccer fan (I far prefer the women's game) and all those leagues and cups and stuff the Europeans have confuses me to death.  But, you know, I'd *heard* of both of these teams and, well, I wanted to experience some European football.  And, I'm finding I love doing sports photography, so this was a perfect opportunity to indulge in that as well.  So off I went!

The experience was kind of threefold:  enjoying the journey and the atmosphere and appreciating the playing of this very British game in this *very* American of venues, enjoying the game itself, and indulging (as I said earlier) in sports photography -- taking pictures of these athletes doing what they do.

Let me just start with the journey and the overall atmosphere.  I mean, this is Yankee Stadium!!  It's legend, even when you're someone like me who was raised to hate the Yankees (which I do, btw, even though I live in NYC now).  So, stepping off the subway platform right next to this stadium was still pretty spectacular.  I mean, the stadium is literally RIGHT THERE when you step out of the subway (note, you can click on each picture to see it in a larger size).


Then I walk on over to the stadium, pick up my ticket and head in. And what’s this?! SWAG!! In the form of a Chelsea FC cape/flag/banner thingy. Interesting that they were giving them away because Manchester City is the team that is going to have a longer term connection with this city. Ah, well, I never turn down free swag!

After getting inside I still had about an hour before the game so I did a full tour of the stadium, taking pictures, seeing what there was to see. And what fun! The fans (loved them!), the trophy from when Chelsea won some Cup of some sort (as I said, all those Cups confuse me), and the field of play – again, a soccer field, drawn onto one of the most revered (or reviled… or both) baseball fields in the nation).

The Venue
Pretty cool…

Wait… shouldn’t that read Yankees vs. Red Sox? Wat?

This was my view… not bad!

The crowd… these guys behind one of the nets… they were some highly entertaining Chelsea fans! Singing, arm waving, chanting, scarf twirling, the works.


From my view I also could watch it both live, and in Memorex…

LOVE these two NYPD officers enjoying the game…

The Fans
Some of my favorite shots of various fans.

With the champions Cup…

This fan is flag waiving, whooping and hollering in ecstasy (this was taken shortly after Chelsea scored a goal in the second half)

It was cold…

A dad and his son, so cute!

And speaking of cute…*DIES OF THE CUTE*…

Some more Torres fans watch warm-ups…

One man wave. No, really. This guy is doing a one-man wave. The wave had gone around about 3 times (and it was fun!) and was petering out. When it got to our section, though, this guy was a die hard. Love him!

The game itself I actually enjoyed more than I expected. Being a friendly, there didn’t seem to be much bad blood and they thing I don’t like about the men’s game (the diving) was for the most part completely absent. Instead I got my first real true up-close look at the skill of men’s soccer. And WOW. They are just SO fast and SO quick and SO strong. It was pretty fun. And, I took lots of pictures. I didn’t know the players, so I just tried to take pictures of the action. Below are some of my favorite shots.

The Captains shake hands before the game…

This was actually shortly after what appeared to be a minor fight broke out between a couple players…

Corner kicks are one of my favorite soccer things to try to capture with my camera…


And walls are fun, too. (lol, all of them protecting themselves)

Just some other shots…





And then the final whistle blew. The final score of 5-3 was awesome because it’s super high-scoring for a soccer game and the highs-and-lows-and-ups-and-downs of each goal were so much fun. I think I’d enjoy attending a game that had more on the line, where the crowds were really REALLY into it because it meant something. As it was, it was still fun to see this game played live and to experience a little bit of soccer-atmosphere. :)

For more pictures, you can see my photoset on flickr here: MORE PICTURES

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