What a way to end the regular season! FC Gold Pride defeated the Philadelphia Independence 4-1 at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, California.
Left the Cal Football game at half time to make sure I could make it to the FC Gold Pride game on time for the trophy presentation. FC Gold Pride sealed up the regular season champions title two weeks ago, but had the trophy presentation this week.
WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci presented the regular season trophy to FC Gold Pride owners Brian and Nancy NeSmith along with team captain Rachel Buehler, head coach Albertin Montoya, and general manager Ilisa Kessler. I have never seen owners be as involved or personally care so much about a team as the NeSmith's. The players and the organization definitely deserve this title!
I decided I would photograph the Independence first half and then FC Gold Pride second half. After Gold Pride scored two goals across the field in the first, I thought I had made a bad decision. But they didn't let me down and scored another two goals in the second half. And after Marta's assist to Christine Sinclair to put it away, she pointed towards a celebrating Marta to give her credit, and I had the perfect angle to capture the moment =)
Also captured another (and I think my best yet) set of the Kiki Bosio flip throw. Hopefully David Keller and daughter will enjoy =)
My parents also came to the game and really enjoyed it. My dad was really impressed with their ball control. Pre-game they spun the wheel at the amyway booth. My dad won a Marta poster and my mom won a free Marta t-shirt (which I'm planning to steal) ... I wonder where I get my love of free t-shirts from? ;-)
After the game Ali Riley came on the microphone to encourage fans to check out Kelley and Ali's corner and thank the fans for their support this season and the entire team held up huge banners to thank the fans as well.
After this, the players celebrated... then it's back to work as they will be fighting for the WPS Championship Sunday September 26th. With home field advantage, hopefully it will be a great crowd and another win for FC Gold Pride who are on a 13-game unbeaten streak!
Full set up at ISIphotos.com