Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The (MLS) Cup Runneth Over

Last weekend I made my way back down to Dallas for yet another soccer game. This wasn't just another game, however, it was the MLS Cup, the Superbowl of Major League Soccer. While my team wasn't in it, it was a pretty good game anyways.

Another good reason for going to Dallas is an awesome grocery store we found that has the most outstanding selection of beer. They even have Carlsberg, a beer I feel in love with when I was in Europe but haven't been able to find in this country ever since. So we made a stop there, where we also found a beer called "Chili Beer." This beer's main feature was a big chili pepper floating inside it. It was quite scary:

Scary Beer

I wasn't the brave soul that actually bought it, but I did try a sip. It hurt. It was like drinking fire. But my favorite part about it is how the bottle helpfully notes that this is a "Beer with Chili Pepper added" as if you wouldn't notice the green thing floating around in the beer otherwise.

The game was played Sunday afternoon, and was sold out. Here I am with Dave and Michelle showing off the fancy signs we made for the game. Well, they have nothing to do with the game since they deal with FC Dallas and not the two teams playing, but it was nice to display them anyways:


The Cup was between the Houston Dyanmo (or the Houston Dynahoes or the Houston Dynablow) and the New England Revolution. I won't bother going into details about the game (since everyone watched it, right???). But just that neither team scored during the game, so that it ended up going into overtime. Both teams would score in overtime, both scoring within a minute of the other, which required the game to go to penalty kicks. Houston ended up winning the penalty kicks and won the game. Here are a bunch of pictures of the game. I love the zoom lens that came with my camera:






This is a view of the stadium at halftime. This was when I got up and debated waiting in line at the ATM so I could then go and wait in line to buy a $6 beer. Instead I walked around and took pictures...
Pizza Hut Park

The walk let me get a good view on the band playing during the half-time show - some group called Under the Influence of Giants, who apparently had a hit single out.

Never heard of 'em

I assume U2 was too busy to make the trip to Dallas for the half-time show.

PB127006 crop


And so after 90 minutes, neither team had scored. For no goals, the game had actually been pretty entertaining. But it was shaping up to be like last year's MLS Cup between New England and the LA Galaxy. After 90 minutes neither team had scored and it went to overtime, where LA scored and ended up winning.

End of regulation.

I was cheering for New England, hoping they could pull a win out.

The Houston fans got a bit rowdy during the game, and at one point threw a smoke bomb out onto the field.

Please do not throw objects onto the field...

While those smoke bombs might look neat, they could really singe the nice grass there at the stadium. So some poor guy had the bad job of going out onto the field during the game and getting rid of the bomb. Now, those bombs are probably hot, and the guy reached down to grab it and then immediately dropped it. The poor guy probably burned his hands trying to pick the thing up. To make matter worse, he happened to do that in front of 22,000 people, who actually laughed at him. He ended up kicking the smoke bomb off the field like it was a burning soccer ball:

Fire = hot.

Not too long after the excitement of the smoke bomb, New England ran up and scored a goal:


But not a minute after that, Houston answered and scored a goal too. So the game was tied again. I completely missed the goal becuase I was looking at my camera checking to see if I had managed to get the New England goal. Oh well. So overtime ended with a 1-1 tie, meaning the game would be decided on penalty kicks.

Taking the penalty shot

But while the two teams were taking their penalty kicks, the most awesome sunset was developing over the stadium. I was probably the only person there looking up at the sky instead of the goal...

Woah, there is an awesome sunset too

It was tough trying decide what to focus on - the sky or the goals. To get a good wide angle shot I would need to change lenses, so I missed a few shots while sitting down and messing around with the camera. The shots of the goal probably wouldn't turn out anyways, it was getting dark and my shots were starting to get blurry. Houston won it anyways...

Houston wins

So they won, a result I wasn't all that thrilled about. But the overtime and penalty shootout worked out because we were able to catch the awesome sunset, so I guess there was a bright side.
Sunset over PHP

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