Tuesday, October 13, 2015

USA and Mexico fans at the CONCACAF Cup

The USA national team didn't get the result it wanted in the CONCACAF Cup, but for the USA fans, it was good night.  
For the first time in many years the US Men's soccer team had played an important match in Los Angeles, there were thousands and thousands of American fans in the stands supporting them.  The atmosphere was completely different than the 2011 Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl.
In this 2011 photograph from the Gold Cup Final the US Soccer supporters section was this small area consisting of probably no more than 1000 fans.
During the CONCACAF Cup the USA fans and American Outlaws covered a whole end of the stadium.
The other amazing part was although there were some moments of heckling and arguing between the USA and Mexico fans, it was mostly good natured.

 Even though with the improved numbers of USA fans at the stadium, the overwhelming was pro-Mexico.
I'd estimate that the numbers were about 65 percent pro-Mexico...

 ... and about 35 percent pro-USMNT.
 When the teams walked on the pitch for the start of the match...
 ...the Mexico fans were definitely louder singing the national anthem.
 But the USA team sure didn't look intimidated.
 After all, in recent years the USMNT has had the uncanny ability to beat Mexico 2-0 in important games.

Unfortunately the American Outlaws fans barely starting beating their drums before Mexico scored.

 But urged on, the USA fans continued to cheer...
...and were rewarded with a quick goal to tie the match back up.
 After the first 15 minutes the match turned into a tactical game with the USA defending...
...and the Mexicans attacking.
 At the half fans caught their breath...

...and shared a drink or two.
 In the second half the USA and American Outlaws urged on the USMNT.

 As USA fans chanted "USA!" the Mexico fans right next to them would chant "Me-xi-co!"
 Mexico had the run of the game in the second half and its fans were left ruing several missed goal scoring opportunities.  
The game than went to extra time and Mexico scored a goal. And it looked like the USA were done.
 But a beautiful combination play by the USA breathed life back into the American fans' hopes.
 They cheered on their team to finish off extra time and take the game to penalty kicks.
 But with only a few minutes left on the clock the USA fans were looked on in disbelief as Mexico scored a clincher.  
 With so few minutes left on the clock there was no way for the USA to respond and the American fans trudged out of the bowl dejected...

...as the Mexico fans celebrated.

But in the end the real remarkable story really wasn't the result, but the fans.  The USA fans came out in numbers, the Mexico fans in even greater numbers. And in large part the fans were passionate and good natured. They gave their all for their respective sides and could hold their heads up high after the game.  

Now I doubt that the next World Cup Qualifier between Mexico and the USA in Azteca will be a love fest, but it really felt, at least for one night, in this game, that the fans of both nation treated each other with respect.  I liked that. And hope it for more as the greatest soccer rivalry in CONCACAF continues.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cal Football vs. Grambling State

 The UC Berkeley Cal football team opened up its season with a match against Grambling State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
 Grambling State was not much of a challenge against a solid Cal team.
 The defense played well...
 ...and the offense tore up the Grambling defense.

 But at halftime was the show everyone was waiting for...
 They were amazing and it was fun watching them preform...
 ...and they ending with a salute to Cali.
 But all in all a good start for Cal's season.
Let's see if their offense can keep running!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Exploring Chinese Cusine in San Francisco for Food Republic

One of my favorite assignments from the past few months has been this shoot about important Chinese Restaurants in San Francisco. 
 It lead me on a culinary tour of San Francisco's Chinese restaurants...
 from the heart of Chinatown.... (pictured Eastern Bakery)...
 to the Richmond District and its amazing Dim Sum restaurants (like Hong Kong Lounge).
I photographed popular favorites like House of Nanking....
 and its amazing selection of food...
 ...and ambiance.
But the best discovery was to see how much people enjoy food and see how it brings people together; especially at Old Mandarin in the Sunset District.  If you have a chance check out the story!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Instagraming #Caltopia2015

 Sunday was move-in day for the undergraduates at UC Berkeley and along with all the change and excitement that the day brings there was also a chance to learn more about their school, community and grab a bunch of free swag at Caltopia 2015.
 It was fun for me because besides shooting it for Cal, I also was instagraming the event and posting photos online with the hash tag #caltopia2015.
 These are some of my favorite images from the event...
 Please enjoy!!