Landon Donovan makes history as he takes the field with the San Diego Sockers on 2/15/2019 (Photo by Alan Hess)

On Friday night the San Diego Sockers played the Tacoma Stars at the Pechanga Arena – San Diego, and Landon Donovan took to the turf for the first time. It was a pretty historic night, and as the house photographer for the venue, I was there to cover the night. This was by far the biggest indoor soccer crowd I have ever seen in my years at the venue. Along with a larger number of fans in attendance, there were also a large number of press and photographers. Not unusual when a sports figure like Landon Donovan is involved.

The Sockers played the Tacoma Stars at the Pechanga Arena -San Diego on Friday night (Photo by Alan Hess)

One of the other photographers at the game was Robert Beck, who was there shooting for an ESPN story on the return of Donovan to soccer. You can read the story and see the fantastic photos here: ESPN STORY Now, I had met Robert years ago when we were both presenting at an event for military photographers here in San Diego and have been following his work ever since. His work is amazing. You can check out his website HERE, and his Instagram HERE.

While he didn’t score a goal on Friday, Landon Donovan was credited with an assist, and was in the thick of things numerous times during the game (Photo by Alan Hess)

So here I am shooting the same game with one of the best in the business. And it was great. While we didn’t have the same assignment, my goal was to cover the whole game with an obvious emphasis on the Landon effect, while Robert was there to cover Landon, it made me really up my game. Just knowing that a photographer with as many iconic images in his portfolio as Robert has, was shooting the same game as me… That made me really think about how I was going to be capturing the game. So here are my favorite shots from the game, including the shot of Robert taking one of the photos used in the ESPN story.

(Photo by Alan Hess)
Goal. (Photo by Alan Hess)
Goal Celebration (Photo by Alan Hess)
Landon Donovan as a San Diego Socker (Photo by Alan Hess)
(Photo by Alan Hess)
(Photo by Alan Hess)
Landon gets after the ball (Photo by Alan Hess)
(Photo by Alan Hess)
Greeting fans after the game (Photo by Alan Hess)
Its great to see the players interacting with the young fans after the game (Photo by Alan Hess)
Landon Donovan and a group of fans after the game (Photo by Alan Hess)
Here you can see Robert hard at work (Photo by Alan Hess)
Post game interview (Photo by Alan Hess)

This really was a fun night of soccer at the Pechanga Arena – San Diego with the Sockers winning 6-4. Already looking forward to the next game.