The 2010 MLS season finally kicked off last week, after a long pre-season and threats of a possible player strike. I headed down to Dallas for another soccer pilgrimage, visiting the Holy Land of Pizza Hut Park in the suburb of Frisco. Saturday was a beautiful and sunny day, except for the wind. Gusts up to 40 mph would race through the stadium, picking up any paper you had and sending it over to the other side of the stadium.
The game was played during the day, which meant that it would be easier to get decent pictures. So before the game I got a seat in the corner, close to one of the goals and hoped for the best. It is frustrating to make the 5 hour drive into Texas to see your favorite team lose.
Dallas was playing their biggest rival, the hated Houston Dynamo.
My seat was a good one, with clear views of the field and the players as they worked their way towards goal.
Houston forward (and former Dallas player) Dominic Oduro taking a shot - which missed, luckily. I liked that guy when he played for Dallas, so it kinda breaks my heart to see him playing for Houston.
Now I hate to post this next picture, taken in the 36th minute. This was taken right after Houston player Mike Chabala took a shot, which would go in for the first goal of the game.
But just a few minutes later Dallas would even the score with a goal from Atiba Harris. That goal happened on the other side of the field, so I didn't get a good shot of it. But here is a shot of Harris (#16), taken a few minutes later.
Soccer is perhaps one of the more difficult sports to get decent pictures of. The action is so spread-out over the course of the large field. It helps when the players decide to do something right in front of you. Dallas player David Ferreira fought to control the ball against two Houston players, just a few feet away from my seat.
In the middle of the second half, the Dallas bench players went by while they were warming up. This is Dallas midfielder Eric Avila, who would go into the game a sub about 15 minutes later.
The first 5000 fans at the game got a FC Dallas captain's armband. The friend I met at the game got there too late to get an armband, so I gave his young son my armband. After the game he got it autographed by Avila. I was jealous...
Dallas was getting more and more shots in the second half. Here is Jeff Cunningham, the league's top goal scorer last year and the person an Arkansas waterfall is named after, taking a shot (which missed, dangit Jeff!).
And a few more of Jeff Cunningham:
And just before taking another shot:
That one didn't go in, and the game would end in a 1-1 draw.
And one last shot from the game:
And the video highlights: