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Capturing the pain

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They care like we do.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

One of the toughest things to decide is what to post after a major loss. While I have work to do in the media, I’m not a neutral and I don’t pretend to be. The photos I post will get spread around and have my name attached to them, which is fine. It also can give fodder to the trolls and idiots, which is why I rarely post negative photos, whether for us or them.

Many people said, “Make sure you get photos of sad Caleb Porter” which I probably wouldn’t have posted, even if it came to fruition. I have photos of Dempsey ripping up the referee’s book in a particular US Open Cup game which I declined to submit, both online and to my outlet at the time.

I can post action photos, but they’re ultimately empty and meaningless. The best photos are the ones that tell the story of the game. What do I post today?

I’m posting these today to remind us all that the players care. The pain we feel, they feel just as hard, if not harder. I wish I could have been field-side to get better photos of Stefan Frei after the game ended. Nobody will pin this loss on him, but he and Jordan Morris just couldn’t find it in them to leave the field as Columbus celebrated. It’s that feeling where you know it’s over, but you wish you could find some way to change the outcome, some way to prove that you were better than you showed. While every team ends up disappointed except the champs, nobody wants the ride to end.

These are not “good” photos from a technical standpoint. They’re important photos. We care. The players care.

I’ll have more to write later about the season and photographing games in a pandemic, but for now, sitting in an airport in Ohio, the only thing on my mind to say is this:

Stay safe, friends. See you all next year.