Tamp Bay Rowdies vs FC Edmonton Recap Gallery

As I write this post I look back at my previous blog posts and realize it has only been four months since I photographed my first professional soccer match. A couple of weeks ago I was approached by the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the team's photographer and offered to be the official photographer for Saturday's game against FC Edmonton as he headed up to Jacksonville to cover the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Jacksonville. I accepted and here's the photo highlights.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies were shutout by FC Edmonton's goalkeeper Matt VanOekel, who gave Scott Sterling a run for his money with an unbreakable wall of defense! The man, the myth, the legend...Matt VanOekel.

FC Edmonton Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel saved all nine of Tampa Bay Rowdies' shots on goal . © Eric Tillotson

FC Edmonton Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel saved all nine of Tampa Bay Rowdies' shots on goal . © Eric Tillotson

..but before the game can start there's tailgating. Here's some of my favorite shots of the pregame festivities outside the Tampa Bay Rowdies Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.

Before the match starts we have some warm up shots, the players entering the field, the coin toss and a group photo.

Shooting the game is a mixture between skill, luck, and experience. With each game I shoot the better I am at recognizing when and where a play is about to happen at. For this match I positioned myself more towards midfield to be able to capture as much neutral play as possible since I was not only shooting for the Tampa Bay Rowdies but also the photos would be sent to FC Edmonton's PR team for distribution.

A loss is tough but the Rowdies players didn't allow the loss effect the fans waiting to meet the players and get an autograph. These type of moments are some of my favorites to photograph, it's my chance to capture moments that are the heart and soul of sports photography. The fan / player interactions and even sometimes the players showing their softer side with their family.