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Well it’s certainly better late than never that I put a blog together with my favorites images from the year.

2016 was quite the roller coaster of events for both myself and the teams I covered. The world of freelance photography took me all over the country this year covering everything from the U.S. Open at Oakmont to the NFL playoffs, getting a relief from the snow to document the BNP Paribas Open in California, spending a week covering the world champion Maine-Endwell little league baseball team, and the road to the Stanley Cup Final with the Pittsburgh Penguins. For those experiences and being asked to tell their stories, I am forever grateful.

So much has changed in the world of journalism, especially in the past year, but I remain optimistic that myself and other photographers will continue to push forward and find their voice.

Happy New Year, everyone! Enjoy some of my favorite images below…

Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a touchdown pass in front of Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half during the Wild Card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a touchdown pass in front of Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half during the Wild Card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos stands behind center as a ray of light hits his jersey in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Round Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photograhy)
Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos stands behind center as a ray of light hits his jersey in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Round Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photograhy)
Ben Lovejoy #12 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes the ice against the New Jersey Devils during the game at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 26, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/WIck Photography)
Ben Lovejoy #12 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes the ice against the New Jersey Devils during the game at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 26, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/WIck Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes during the game at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes during the game at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during the bout at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on February 13, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during the bout at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on February 13, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Hall of Fame catcher, Manny Sanguillen, talks with Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bullpen during spring training at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida on February 19, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Hall of Fame catcher, Manny Sanguillen, talks with Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bullpen during spring training at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida on February 19, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during spring training at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida on February 21, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during spring training at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida on February 21, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Annika Beck practices on court 8 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on Sunday, March 6, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Annika Beck practices on court 8 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on Sunday, March 6, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Andy Murray plays Marcel Granollers in Men's Singles Second Round in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Saturday, March 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Andy Murray plays Marcel Granollers in Men’s Singles Second Round in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Saturday, March 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Eugenie Bouchard plays Timea Bacsinszky in Women's Singles Third Round in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Monday, March 14, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Eugenie Bouchard plays Timea Bacsinszky in Women’s Singles Third Round in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Monday, March 14, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Serena Williams plays Simona Halep in Women's Singles Quarterfinals in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Serena Williams plays Simona Halep in Women’s Singles Quarterfinals in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Serena
Rafael Nadal plays Novak Djokovic in Men's Singles Semifinals in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Saturday, March 19, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Rafael Nadal plays Novak Djokovic in Men’s Singles Semifinals in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California Saturday, March 19, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Conor Sheary #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins reaches for the puck while being pulled down by a penalized Petter Granberg #8 of the Nashville Predators in the second period during the game at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 31, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Conor Sheary #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins reaches for the puck while being pulled down by a penalized Petter Granberg #8 of the Nashville Predators in the second period during the game at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 31, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks to the plate past David Freese #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the St. Louis Cardinals during the Opening Day game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 3, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks to the plate past David Freese #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the St. Louis Cardinals during the Opening Day game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 3, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
The Pittsburgh Pirates on deck circle is reflected in the sunglasses of John Jaso #28 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
The Pittsburgh Pirates on deck circle is reflected in the sunglasses of John Jaso #28 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Skateboarding at the LES Coleman skatepark  in New York City on April 20, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Skateboarding at the LES Coleman skatepark in New York City on April 20, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Skateboarding at the LES Coleman skatepark  in New York City on April 20, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Skateboarding at the LES Coleman skatepark in New York City on April 20, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Ben Lovejoy #12 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reach for a loose puck in the first period during game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania on May 16, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Ben Lovejoy #12 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reach for a loose puck in the first period during game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania on May 16, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates through the on-ice flame graphics prior to the start of game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on May 18, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates through the on-ice flame graphics prior to the start of game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on May 18, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
in Braddock, Pennslyvania on May 27, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
in Braddock, Pennslyvania on May 27, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
in Braddock, Pennslyvania on May 27, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
in Braddock, Pennslyvania on May 27, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during game two of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania on June 1, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during game two of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania on June 1, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is introduced prior to game three of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on June 4, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is introduced prior to game three of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on June 4, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the bullpen prior to the game against the New York Mets at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the bullpen prior to the game against the New York Mets at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes the field in his major league debut against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Jameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes the field in his major league debut against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Third base coach Rick Sofield #41 of the Pittsburgh Pirates blows a bubble during the game against the New York Mets at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Third base coach Rick Sofield #41 of the Pittsburgh Pirates blows a bubble during the game against the New York Mets at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Members of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate their 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks to win the Stanley Cup during game six of the Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center in San Jose, California on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Members of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate their 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks to win the Stanley Cup during game six of the Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center in San Jose, California on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins hoists the Stanley Cup following their 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks during game six of the Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center in San Jose, California on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins hoists the Stanley Cup following their 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks during game six of the Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center in San Jose, California on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins kisses the Stanley Cup during the victory parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 15, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham / Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins kisses the Stanley Cup during the victory parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 15, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham / Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins holds up the Stanley Cup during the victory parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 15, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins holds up the Stanley Cup during the victory parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 15, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Dustin Johnson kisses the U.S. Open trophy following his first major win in Oakmont, Pennsylvania on Sunday June 19, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
Dustin Johnson kisses the U.S. Open trophy following his first major win in Oakmont, Pennsylvania on Sunday June 19, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Wick Photography)
during half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
during half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
during the half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
during the half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
during first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
during first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
(Jared Wickerham for Upper Deck)
(Jared Wickerham for Upper Deck)
 (Jared Wickerham for Upper Deck)
(Jared Wickerham for Upper Deck)
Patriots Steelers Football
Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates his three-point shot at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/The Players Tribune)
Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates his three-point shot at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/The Players Tribune)
Pittsburgh wide receiver Aaron Mathews (6) is unable to make a catch before Syracuse defensive back Corey Winfield (11) intercepts the pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.(AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
Pittsburgh wide receiver Aaron Mathews (6) is unable to make a catch before Syracuse defensive back Corey Winfield (11) intercepts the pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.(AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
Pittsburgh running back James Conner (24) walks off of the field following their win against Syracuse in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.(AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
Pittsburgh running back James Conner (24) walks off of the field following their win against Syracuse in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.(AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
(AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
(AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
Immanuel Iyke #96 of the Penn State Nittany Lions poses for a portrait inside the Louis and Mildred Lasch football building in State College, Pennsylvania on Monday December 5, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/The Players Tribune)
Immanuel Iyke #96 of the Penn State Nittany Lions poses for a portrait inside the Louis and Mildred Lasch football building in State College, Pennsylvania on Monday December 5, 2016. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/The Players Tribune)
 (Jared Wickerham for Upper Deck)
(Jared Wickerham for Upper Deck)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03:  (Editor's note: Image has been converted to black and white.) James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes the field during introductions prior to the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 03: (Editor’s note: Image has been converted to black and white.) James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes the field during introductions prior to the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

It may have just been preseason for the Steelers but it was great to get back to shooting some football this past Labor Day weekend, wrapping it up on Saturday with the first games (and wins) for the Pitt Panthers and the West Virginia Mountaineers.

And just like the players and referees who need some practice getting back into the swing of things, the same goes for every photographers no matter how many seasons you’ve been covering a particular sport or team.

One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is not to overthink how you cover a game. Over the span of a season you’ll get a feel for the team’s tendencies (i.e. Do they pass or run a lot? Deep routes and short 5-10 yard gains?). There are so many analytics websites out there that you could just as easily look at a chart and determine it that way as well. But going with your gut on where to best position yourself based on different variables will more than likely yield the best results. Reading up on your local teams can also give you more detailed information and befriending those same writers can go a long way in being a step ahead on the news that might develop and your images getting more play. Of course you will always miss something as you can’t possibly be in perfect position for every big play. However, always take into consideration how much time is left, what kind of weapons a team may have, etc. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and go with your gut instinct because I think the saying will almost always be true: ‘Go where everyone else isn’t.’ It just might pay off for you.

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Michael Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Kawann Short #99 of the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 03: Michael Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Kawann Short #99 of the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Fozzy Whittaker #43 of the Carolina Panthers is pushed out of bounds by Robert Golden #21 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 03: Fozzy Whittaker #43 of the Carolina Panthers is pushed out of bounds by Robert Golden #21 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03:  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers has his jersey ripped while running with the ball in the first half against the Carolina Panthers during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 03: Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers has his jersey ripped while running with the ball in the first half against the Carolina Panthers during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Mike Brown #12 of the Carolina Panthers catches a pass in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 03: Mike Brown #12 of the Carolina Panthers catches a pass in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Will Johnson #46 of the Pittsburgh Steelers has his facemask grabbed while running with the ball in the fourth quarter by T.J. Heath #26 of the Carolina Panthers during the preseason game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 03: Will Johnson #46 of the Pittsburgh Steelers has his facemask grabbed while running with the ball in the fourth quarter by T.J. Heath #26 of the Carolina Panthers during the preseason game at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Pittsburgh Panthers fans cheer on their team during introductions prior to the game against the Youngstown State Penguins at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Pittsburgh Panthers fans cheer on their team during introductions prior to the game against the Youngstown State Penguins at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Pat Amara #25 of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts while entering the field during introductions prior to the game against the Youngstown State Penguins at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Pat Amara #25 of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts while entering the field during introductions prior to the game against the Youngstown State Penguins at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05:  James Conner #24 of the Pittsburgh Panthers runs with the ball past an upended Kenneth Durden #7 of the Youngstown State Penguins in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: James Conner #24 of the Pittsburgh Panthers runs with the ball past an upended Kenneth Durden #7 of the Youngstown State Penguins in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Avonte Maddox #14 of the Pittsburgh Panthers breaks up a pass in front of Andrew Williams #80 of the Youngstown State Penguins in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Avonte Maddox #14 of the Pittsburgh Panthers breaks up a pass in front of Andrew Williams #80 of the Youngstown State Penguins in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Pittsburgh Panthers fans sing 'Sweet Caroline' during the second half against the Youngstown State Penguins during the game at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Pittsburgh Panthers fans sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ during the second half against the Youngstown State Penguins during the game at Heinz Field on September 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 05:  Jovon Durante #5 of the West Virginia Mountaineers catches a touchdown pass in front of Dravon Askew-Henry #6 of the Georgia Southern Eagles in the first quarter during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – SEPTEMBER 05: Jovon Durante #5 of the West Virginia Mountaineers catches a touchdown pass in front of Dravon Askew-Henry #6 of the Georgia Southern Eagles in the first quarter during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 05: Daryl Worley #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers breaks up a pass intended for Ryan Longoria #31 of the Georgia Southern Eagles in the first half during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – SEPTEMBER 05: Daryl Worley #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers breaks up a pass intended for Ryan Longoria #31 of the Georgia Southern Eagles in the first half during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 05:  Tyrek Cole #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers catches a pass in front of Deshawntee Gallon #27 of the Georgia Southern Eagles during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – SEPTEMBER 05: Tyrek Cole #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers catches a pass in front of Deshawntee Gallon #27 of the Georgia Southern Eagles during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 05: Rushel Shell #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers stretches across the goal line for a touchdown in the second half against the Georgia Southern Eagles during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – SEPTEMBER 05: Rushel Shell #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers stretches across the goal line for a touchdown in the second half against the Georgia Southern Eagles during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 05: Favian Upshaw #13 of the Georgia Southern Eagles sits on the turf after being sacked in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – SEPTEMBER 05: Favian Upshaw #13 of the Georgia Southern Eagles sits on the turf after being sacked in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game at Mountaineer Field on September 5, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

 

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 23: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

 

 

Well it’s been a month since I posted something to my blog. Partly because I’ve been traveling more and shooting less. A flight to Pittsburgh and a drive to Chautauqua Lake, NY to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving was very much needed. As any photojournalist can attest, this is always a slow time of the year. It gets cold outside so people and their events all hibernate for the winter. As do the paychecks.

So how do you get through this time as a freelancer? I asked myself that question about four years ago while struggling to find much work from about December through March following graduation. I immediately went to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review photographer, Justin Merriman, for help with that. Although he wanted to help, as a staff photographer, it’s not something he has to worry about. Instead, he forwarded me to freelancer Jeff Swensen, a guy he shared a photo studio with on the south side of Pittsburgh. What transpired over time from that single meeting at the Terminal Building has sent me on a much more clear, guided, thoughtful, happier, and fulfilling path. I joined a great space with a crew of folks that included Jeff and Justin, along with (current Pittsburgh Tribune-Review photojournalist) Stephanie Strasburg and (videographer and marketer extraordinaire) Mickey Miller.

As creatives we’re always looking to improve on our craft. And I’ve found the best way to do that and to always be driven is by surrounding yourself with other fellow artists. Not just good artists but good people. People who are open to working together and pushing each other in a positive way. It’s not just good for your artistry but also for your sanity and your mental state. There will be a lot of days where no one calls and no one emails with potential work. It can be pretty depressing at times and you can easily fall into a terrible state-of-mind if you’re not careful. On the flip side, there’s no better time to brainstorm and start on personal projects that you’ve been putting off all year. Use this time to put together your best images from the year and a new business plan. Write down what goals you accomplished and set new ones for yourself.

Collaboration is the key. These friends will help drive you on those days when you’re not feeling confident about your work or your business. For me, it’s a huge asset to have and certainly part of the reason for me returning to Pittsburgh. In that town, people aren’t afraid to share work. They make sure that the community succeeds because they genuinely care about each other. If someone helps you out with an assignment, you don’t steal their client, and you return the favor whenever possible. And that’s not even factoring in the daily benefits of being able to critique each others work and constantly keep each others minds thinking about the future in how you can evolve and become a better photographer, businessman, etc. And if you live in an affordable city that can foster groups of young creatives, start a studio! Get a few people to chip in for a space. It can be really beneficial to get everyone out of the house and into a place with fewer distractions that would allow for more work and progress to happen. The larger your circle of friends and fellow artists grows, so do your ideas, clients, and ultimately, paychecks. Because let’s face it, as much as we love what we do, the bills come every month too, regardless of the season.

So my suggestion to everyone out there having a tough time keeping busy is to just to continue to network and be a good friend. I am personally very thankful that I have such an amazing crew of people in the steel city. It won’t always solve your immediate financial issues but as long as you’ve set aside a little savings to help you through those months, it will at the very least keep your head up and the creativity flowing. After all, what are friends for?

I will leave you with some of my recent football images that were a result of my creative flame always staying lit thanks to those aforementioned people…

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson leaps into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter in front of Cole Champion #5 of the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson leaps into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter in front of Cole Champion #5 of the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson runs back a punt into the Yale Bulldogs territory in the first half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson runs back a punt into the Yale Bulldogs territory in the first half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson catches a pass in front of Jason Alessi #19 of the Yale Bulldogs before running into the endzone for a touchdown second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson catches a pass in front of Jason Alessi #19 of the Yale Bulldogs before running into the endzone for a touchdown second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Marty Moesta #99 of the Yale Bulldogs celebrates after recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Harvard Crimson in the second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Marty Moesta #99 of the Yale Bulldogs celebrates after recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Harvard Crimson in the second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Anthony Firkser #42 of the Harvard Crimson runs with the ball past Carl Kreitzberg #54 of the Yale Bulldogs in the second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Anthony Firkser #42 of the Harvard Crimson runs with the ball past Carl Kreitzberg #54 of the Yale Bulldogs in the second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: The student section for the Yale Bulldogs strip down to their underwear revelaing 'Harvard Sucks' underwear in the second half against the Harvard Crimson during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: The student section for the Yale Bulldogs strip down to their underwear revelaing ‘Harvard Sucks’ underwear in the second half against the Harvard Crimson during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson catches a pass in front of Jason Alessi #19 of the Yale Bulldogs before running into the endzone for a touchdown second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson catches a pass in front of Jason Alessi #19 of the Yale Bulldogs before running into the endzone for a touchdown second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson is lifted in the air by teammate Michael Mancinelli #66 following Fischer's game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson is lifted in the air by teammate Michael Mancinelli #66 following Fischer’s game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson win resulted in an undefeated 10-0 season and the Ivy League championship. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Morgan Roberts #19 of the Yale Bulldogs lines up under center in the red zone against the Harvard Crimson in the second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Morgan Roberts #19 of the Yale Bulldogs lines up under center in the red zone against the Harvard Crimson in the second half during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Tyler Varga #30 of the Yale Bulldogs reaches for a touchdown in the second half past Norman Hayes #7 of the Harvard Crimson during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Tyler Varga #30 of the Yale Bulldogs reaches for a touchdown in the second half past Norman Hayes #7 of the Harvard Crimson during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Scott Peters #44 of the Harvard Crimson celebrates following his interception with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter against the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Scott Peters #44 of the Harvard Crimson celebrates following his interception with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter against the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Conner Hempel #14 of the Harvard Crimson celebrates on the field with fans following their 31-24 win against the Yale Bulldogs at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Conner Hempel #14 of the Harvard Crimson celebrates on the field with fans following their 31-24 win against the Yale Bulldogs at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Harvard Crimson fans celebrate after rushing the field following their 31-24 win against the Yale Bulldogs at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 22: Harvard Crimson fans celebrate after rushing the field following their 31-24 win against the Yale Bulldogs at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  A general view before a game between the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 23: A general view before a game between the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions makes a diving catch for a first down as Brandon Browner #39 of the New England Patriots defends during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 23: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions makes a diving catch for a first down as Brandon Browner #39 of the New England Patriots defends during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots carries the ball after a catch during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 23: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots carries the ball after a catch during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the ball during the first quater against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 23: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the ball during the first quater against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  LeGarrette Blount #29 of the New England Patriots reacts after a game against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 23: LeGarrette Blount #29 of the New England Patriots reacts after a game against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
EAST HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 06: Darius Joseph #18 of the SMU Mustangs hurdles Javon Hadley #11 of the Connecticut Huskies in front of his teammate, Graham Stewart #2 in the second half after catching a pass during the game at Rentschler Field on December 6, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
EAST HARTFORD, CT – DECEMBER 06: Darius Joseph #18 of the SMU Mustangs hurdles Javon Hadley #11 of the Connecticut Huskies in front of his teammate, Graham Stewart #2 in the second half after catching a pass during the game at Rentschler Field on December 6, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
EAST HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 06:  Horace Richardson #9 of the SMU Mustangs intercepts a pass in front of Geremy Davis #85 of the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter during the game at Rentschler Field on December 6, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
EAST HARTFORD, CT – DECEMBER 06: Horace Richardson #9 of the SMU Mustangs intercepts a pass in front of Geremy Davis #85 of the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter during the game at Rentschler Field on December 6, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Last night I had the chance to photograph one of the best athletes in college football, Teddy Bridgewater of the Louisville Cardinals, take on the winless University of Connecticut football team in Hartford.

Here are some of my favorites from the game…

EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 08:  Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Louisville Cardinals warms up prior to the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Rentschler Field on November 8, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
EAST HARTFORD, CT – NOVEMBER 08: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Louisville Cardinals warms up prior to the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Rentschler Field on November 8, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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One of the biggest perks to living and working in a city with a large sports market is the high priority events that can come into town. This time around, it was one of my favorite events, the Gold Cup.

Here are some of my favorite images from the USA vs Costa Rica and Cuba vs Belize matches that were held at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut on July 16. Enjoy!

HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Celso Borges #5 of Costa Rica takes a corner kick in the first half against the United States during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Celso Borges #5 of Costa Rica takes a corner kick in the first half against the United States during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Alianni Urgelles #14 of Cuba fouls Deon McCaulay #9 of Belize during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Alianni Urgelles #14 of Cuba fouls Deon McCaulay #9 of Belize during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Jorge Luis Clavelo #5 of Cuba fouls Deon McCaulay during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Jorge Luis Clavelo #5 of Cuba fouls Deon McCaulay during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Ariel Pedro Martinez #11 of Cuba celebrates after scoring his third goal against Belize in the second half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Ariel Pedro Martinez #11 of Cuba celebrates after scoring his third goal against Belize in the second half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Jeniel Molina #3 of Cuba celebrates after scoring a goal in the 90th minute against Belize during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Jeniel Molina #3 of Cuba celebrates after scoring a goal in the 90th minute against Belize during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Jeniel Molina #3 of Cuba is mobbed by his teammates after scoring a goal in the 90th minute against Belize during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Jeniel Molina #3 of Cuba is mobbed by his teammates after scoring a goal in the 90th minute against Belize during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: A fan with a painted face poses for a portrait outside of the stadium prior to the USA vs Costa Rica CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: A fan with a painted face poses for a portrait outside of the stadium prior to the USA vs Costa Rica CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Celso Borges #5 of Costa Rica fights for the ball against Mix Diskerud #8 of the United States in the first half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Celso Borges #5 of Costa Rica fights for the ball against Mix Diskerud #8 of the United States in the first half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Yeltsin Tejeda #17 of Costa Rica goes up for a header against Stuart Holden #11 of the United States in the first half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Yeltsin Tejeda #17 of Costa Rica goes up for a header against Stuart Holden #11 of the United States in the first half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Brek Shea #23 of the United States celebrates his goal after scoring late in the second half against Costa Rica during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Brek Shea #23 of the United States celebrates his goal after scoring late in the second half against Costa Rica during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Brek Shea #23 of the United States celebrates his goal after scoring late in the second half against Costa Rica during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Brek Shea #23 of the United States celebrates his goal after scoring late in the second half against Costa Rica during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Yeltsin Tejada #17 of Costa Rica reacts following their 1-0 loss to the United States during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT – JULY 16: Yeltsin Tejada #17 of Costa Rica reacts following their 1-0 loss to the United States during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)