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MLS Cup: The photographers’ favorites

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Mike Russell, Kayla Mehring, and Max Aquino all on the same field? You know this is going to be good.
Courtesy of Jill Peck

While traditional galleries are fun (it’s on the way), we asked our three photographers to share their favorites on the day with us. Let’s get to it!

Action shot

Kayla picked a late-game defensive battle, with Stefan Frei and Kim Kee-Hee going airborne to prevent Omar Gonzales from scoring.

Kayla Mehring / Sounder at Heart

Max chose the moment where Seattle realized they were winning their second cup. Victor Rodriguez’s shot clears the on-rushing Chris Mavinga and Omar Gonzalez, eventually beating goalkeeper Quentin Westberg and sending the fans into raptures.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Mike also features Victor Rodriguez, who stretches to bring the ball down while in mid-sprint.

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

Goal celebrations

Max zooms in tight on the action, capturing a jubilant Roman Torres, who happens to be looking right at him.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Same moment in the game, similar angle, but a distinctly different feel. With this particular angle, zooming out also includes the blurred crowd in the photo, helping to shift the focus to include the crowd in the moment. Well done, Mike!

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

Meanwhile, Kayla shows excellent discipline in focusing on Stefan Frei right as the goal is scored. There is a tendency for sports photographers to focus on where the action is - to peel away and focus on a closer Frei makes for an excellent shot.

Kayla Mehring/Sounder at Heart

Post-game celebration

If any moment reinforces Coach Schmetzer’s notion of being a steward of the club, it’s him smiling privately and giving the players the moment of glory as the team celebrates with the cup on the stand. (Photo by Mike)

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

Xavier Arreaga celebrates with the cup and salutes the fans as the team makes their way around the stadium. (Photo by Kayla)

Kayla Mehring / Sounder at Heart

Who doesn’t love Seattle’s best bromance? Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris kiss the cup together on the capo stand with the ECS celebrating in the background. (Photo by Max)

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Bonus favorites

What fun would it be to not include a few bonus action shots? Mike captures the locker room pizza fight (no idea who could have started that), Max documents an early game duel between our favorite “Center Back/Forward” and Michael Bradley, and Kayla freezes a tense defensive moment, where Kim Kee-Hee is sliding in to shut down a Toronto attack.

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Last, but certainly not least, former Sounder at Heart photographer JaneG (now a Sounders FC staff photographer) joined in on the fun for a post-game photo. We got the band back together!

Courtesy of Tim Rogers