Maybe I’ve been spoiled by all the World Cup coverage, but it’s staggering to see the difference between the levels of play in the MLS — the top flight of American soccer — and the premier international tournament.
Last night, I was dispatched down to Foxboro to cover the return of the MLS season after their so-called “World Cup” break, photographing the matchup between the Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution. It was just relentless long ball after long ball into the box with little discipline or creativity on the part of the players. Very frustrating to watch as someone who’s been playing this game his whole life.
Here are some photos from the game, which the Fire won, 1-0.
6.27.2010 — FOXBORO, Mass. — Revolution defender Emmanuel Osei misses on his bicycle kick clear ahead of Chicago midfielder Baggio Husidic on June 27, 2010.
6.27.2010 — FOXBORO, Mass. — Chicago Fire striker Brian McBride jumps over a sliding Emmanuel Osei in the first half against the Revolution on June 27, 2010.
6.27.2010 — FOXBORO, Mass. — Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph gets tangled up with Chicago defender Logan Pause in a 1-0 loss to the Fire on June 27, 2010.
6.27.2010 — FOXBORO, Mass. — Revolution striker Kenny Mansally wins an air ball against Chicago midfielder Marco Pappa in a 1-0 loss to the fire on June 27, 2010.
6.27.2010 — FOXBORO, Mass. — Revolution midfielder Marko Perovic shows his furstration after a missed opportunity in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on June 27, 2010.
In case you haven’t heard, the Red Sox beloved former shortstop Nomar Garciaparra announced his retirement today.
Here’s a photo from the archive that any Red Sox fan who followed the team in the late 90s should appreciate. One of the highlights of my first season with the Cubs came at the trade deadline, seeing a flood of new players in the dugout basically overnight. But Nomar in particular was a treat, since I got to see him bring to Chicago all the weird habits and mannerisms that I grew up watching — and imitating on occasion — back in Boston.
I got a kick out of this fan’s sign during Nomar’s first at-bat in a Cubs uniform:
8.1.04 - CHICAGO - Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra adjusts his gloves in his first at bat in a Cubs uniform while the Chicago fans remind him that he isn't in Boston anymore on Aug. 1, 2004.
Of course, the Red Sox went on to win the World Series, breaking the famous “Curse.” I ended up wearing my Nomar jersey through the front office at Wrigley the day after, and then-Cubs president Andy MacPhail had a good laugh about it.
8.27.04 - CHICAGO - Chicago Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra starts toward first after making contact on Aug. 27, 2004.