Manchester United

Manchester United's young striker, Federico Macheda, carries the ball down the right wing.

It’s always an honor to photograph elite athletes, but in this case, I got to shoot the team I’ve been supporting for over thirty years: Manchester United–the most valuable, (and arguably the most recognized) sports franchise in the world.

When Man. United, and their long-time manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, come to America, they do their best to bring their veterans, along with the up and coming generation of future stars. Perhaps the most notable example of the latter was the introduction of young goalkeeping prodigy, David De Gea.

De Gea, fresh from international duty with the Spanish under-21 national team, made his Manchester United debut at Soldier Field. While he was only tested in fits and starts by the Chicago attackers, he performed well in what must have been a nerve-wracking start for him. The goal he did allow, from the head of Cory Gibbs, would have been more than a match for any goalie, including recently retired United keeper, Edwin van der Sar.

When all was said and done, Man. United didn’t disappoint in Chicago at the Herbalife World Football Challenge match which took place on a sweltering day in the Windy City.

Competitors like Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Nani, Park Ji-Sung, Dimitar Berbatov, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Owen, and Patrice Evra,  international superstars all, took to the soccer pitch and put on a quite a performance at a sold out Soldier Field.

I think you’ll agree, they are world-class athletes, and I can assure you they are also fun to photograph.

Manchester wing Nani stretches to bring down a long cross.
Chicago midfielder Patrick Nyarko (14) stretches to take the ball from Manchester defender Fabio da Silva.
Manchester Striker Dimitar Berbatov (left) sends a ball into the Chicago box.
Manchester's, and the EPL's, most successful manager, Sir Alex Ferguson (right), chats with his coaches at the start of the game.

Match Re-cap:

Manchester started the sold out match with many of their younger players, including goalkeeping prodigy, David De Gea, but went behind 1-0 in the 13th minute on a header by Chicago defender, Cory Gibbs.

In the second half, however, Sir Alex loaded the field with many of his regular starters. Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-Sung, Nani, Anderson, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, all played a role in the second stanza.

Predictably, United went on to win the match, 3-1, on goals by Rooney (66′), R. da Silva (75′), and Nani (82′).

The only incident which cast a shadow on referee Terry Vaughn’s performance, came in the 81st minute when he inexplicably cautioned Ryan Giggs for a well-timed, and obviously fair challenge  for the ball. Otherwise, as expected, the match maintained the air of an international friendly with a minimum of bruising play by either side.

Recent Manchester acquisition, defender Phil Jones, sends the ball through the midfield.
Manchester Striker Wayne Rooney sends a long ball forward.
Manchester Midfielder Park Ji-Sung pushes the ball past a Chicago defender
Manchester Striker Wayne Rooney watches as his volley beats Chicago goalkeeper Jon Conway for the first Manchester goal..
Manchester defender Rafael da Silva watches as his shot slips through Chicago goalie Jon Conway's legs and into the net for the second United goal.
Manchester wing Nani rises high to head a ball in the Chicago box.
Manchester wing Nani does his famous back flip after scoring the third and final United goal.
Manchester defender Jonny Evans slides in for a hard tackle on Chicago's Mike Vedeira (21.)
Young goal-keeping sensation David De Gea handles the ball in pre-game warm-ups.
Manchester's Ryan Giggs, the most senior player on the side, disputes a yellow card.
Manchester central defender Rio Ferdinand signs an autograph for a young fan following his post game workout
Manchester defender Nemanja Vidic smiles as he signs an autograph for a fellow Serbian following the match.

A password protected gallery of high-resolution, downloadable images from the match, (and from the Friday practice session,)  is available for editorial use. Please contact me at for information and queries.


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