Monday, July 14, 2014

#WorldCupUSA - World Cup Final in San Francisco, CA

The Civic Center was the epicenter of World Cup fever in San Francisco on Sunday.  Thousands of Argentina fans, Germany fans, and soccer fans came to witness the finale to greatest sporting event on the planet.
Soccer was everywhere in the Civic Center...
...as were the crowds.  The whole square was packed with spectators watching the game on the large screens.
There were a sizable number of German fans, wearing white shits with the black, yellow and red color.
But there were equal numbers of Argentina fans in sky blue passionately cheering throughout the match.
Some fans were really excited to show off their colors, even to themselves.
While others almost blended into the blue skies above San Francisco.  The tense game ended 0-0 at regulation, forcing extra time.
In extra time, Germany struck for a goal sending German fans into a frenzy.
The Argentina fans could only look on in disbelief.  Their World Cup dreams shattered.
As the final whistle blew, the Germany fans were in ecstasy...
...as the Argentina fans could not contain their disappointment.
But in the end there can only be one victor to the World Cup, and Germany is a worthy champion.
And after a month, the World Cup is over. We are all packing up our pitches and heading home.  Its been an incredible month.  Photographing soccer fanatics in 14 cities over the United States.  Meeting incredible people from all cultures and background, sharing a laugh or sometimes a cry, and through it all reveling in the wonder that is the World Cup.

It's been amazing and I already miss it.  Do we really need to wait another 4 years for the next World Cup??

Saturday, July 12, 2014

#WorldCupUSA - Argentina fan in Oakland, CA

When photographing soccer fanatics,  I've found what's most important is their passion. Even if there is only one fanatic watching the game.
On Wednesday at Venga Paella in Oakland, Santiago Cuba watched the Argentina-Netherlands semi-final match.  At the end of the match he was the only Argentina fan there.
 When Argentina won the game on penalties, Cuba could not contain his excitement.




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#WorldCupUSA - Germany fans in San Francisco, CA

There is really not much to say about this game.  Germany fans had plenty to cheer about.
 Other fans reacted in disbelief to the score.
 The game attracted a standing-room only crowd at Schroeder's in San Francisco.
 At Leopold's on Polk Street in San Francisco the German fans cheered...
...and cheered...and cheered.  I still can't believe the final score.  Wow. Germany defeats Brazil 7-1.

#WorldCupUSA - Holland fans in New Orleans, LA

You can find soccer fans everywhere in the USA, even deep in the south (and Saints country) in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A group of Dutch fans, made up of Holland expats, Dutch-Americans, friends and traveling Dutch tourists came together at the Rusty Nail in the warehouse district of New Orleans to watch the Netherlands-Costa Rica World Cup Quarterfinal match.
Most of the fans situated with buckets of beer in a little cabana in the back of the bar.
It was a tough game to watch for the Dutch fans, with several chances in regulation to win over Costa Rica.
But the fans held their "Oranje" pride high, and wore their clogs as the game went into extra time.
When the Dutch keeper saved a penalty kick it looked like it would be their day.
And when the second penalty kick was saved, the fans, including this Dutch family on a road trip in America, celebrated advancing to the Semi-finals.
It was a dream come true...
...and as they danced around singing "Hup, Holland" the Dutch fans were now only two games away from claiming their first World Cup trophy.

Monday, July 7, 2014

#WorldCupUSA - Colombia and Brazil fans in Miami, FL

The closest American city geographically to South America, Miami has extensive financial and cultural ties to South America. It's an amazing place to watch any soccer match, and it was absolutely electric during the World Cup Quarterfinal match between Colombia and Brazil.
According to the 2000 US Census, 170,000 Colombians live in the Miami metropolitan area and a sizable number of Brazilians (estimates range from 20,000 - 200,000).
Brickell, an urban neighborhood in Miami, has a large community of wealthy Colombians who work in the financial industry in Miami.
Almost every bar and cafe in Brickell was turned to the match and fans climbed on whatever they could...
...to watch the game.
Although there was a sizeable Brazilian contingent...
...most fans were Colombian.
And they fiercely wore their pride for the national team, which had advanced to the World Cup Quarterfinals for the first time ever.
  Brazil scored two goals in the match, one in the first half and one in the second, which led many Colombian fans to despair, as it looked their dreams of advancing were slipping away.

A penalty kick helped bring the team within striking distance with 15 minutes left.
 But when the final whistle blew, there was little the Colombians could do but console each other in their grief.
As the Brazilian fans celebrated moving on to the semi-finals...
...the Colombians had plenty to still cheer for.
They partied in the streets after the match.
And reveled in the memories of a successful World Cup campaign.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

#WorldCupUSA - SF workers watch USA vs. Belgium

With Team USA’s success advancing to the second round, World Cup fever spread across America. To accommodate employees who wanted to watch the game without leaving work, many San Francisco companies hosted private viewings of USA-Belgium World Cup round of 16 match on Tuesday afternoon.
(Left to right) Andrew Hubbs, Dane Hurtubise and Greg Smith watch the USA vs. Belgium game on their computers during lunch at Pivotal Lab offices South of Market in San Francisco.
Pivotal showed the games on two large screens in the common break space and attracted a large crowd.

But not everyone was watching the games, and talk about work continuted for some.

Others employees checked their work emails, only glancing up when there was a groan or cheer from the gathered crowd.

One fan, Tejash Unudukt cheered after a good play by the USA in the first half.
 Some workers had no interest watching the game, instead using their lunch break to play a game of ping pong.
In downtown San Francisco employees filled the boardroom at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP to watch the match.
 And kept their eyes glued to the screen.
 Byron Varga (center) reacted to a play just before halftime, and the scoreline stood at 0-0.
For extra time several employees at Arthur J. Gallagher insurance company took over a small meeting room to watch the game. They reacted when the USA just missed a goal moments before the end of regulation.For the extra time period, a larger crowd gathered in the break room to watch the action.
 They could not believe it when Belgium scored just a few minutes after the restart.
 When Belgium's second goal went in, things looked dim for the USA fans, including Zack "Soccerhead" Phillips.
 But Phillips was able to cheer soon after when Julian Green pulled the USA back within a goal.

 However, the USA ended up just short, dashing any sort of celebration.
After the game, soccer fanatics Zack Phillips, and wife June Solomon, dealt with the defeat.