I'm no soccer expert and that was kind of a problem during Saturday's FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers game. Shooting soccer is a whole different beast compared to football, well, american football.
Going in to the game I knew I would be able to walk away with some decent action photos because that's just what happens when guys are running up and down the field for at least 90 minutes. The hard part is to capture photos that tell a story, e.g., capture that goal-scoring kick or the moment the goalie misses the ball. The problem is there's not much time to adjust to situations. In football, there's stoppage between plays even if it's just for 15 seconds but that's usually enough time to move into a new position if a team is moving in a certain direction. In soccer, it's completely unpredictable as to which side of the field the players will bring the ball up. And even if you're locked in on the player bringing the ball up there's a pretty high probability he's going to cross it to one of his teammates--that's the prediction you have to make as the photographer trying to capture newsworthy photo.
During this game FC Dallas scored two goals in the first 22 minutes of the game and I just wasn't prepared for that. I happened to catch a photo of Michael Barrios kicking the goal but in the photo it's doesn't provide much visual context. I did however catch a photo of him celebrating with his teammates, which is the same and only photo the Dallas Morning News ran from the game.
That first game was a good experience and lucky for me the team here is on a five-game win streak, so my editor is more than happy to keep sending me out to the games where I'll be able to get more practice and capture those newsworthy photos.