Hitting the home stretch before June 9

Week 1 at Sporting Kansas City has come to a close and it’s been a long one for all.

We were plagued with awful weather all day Wednesday, including reports that morning that a tornado had touched down just blocks from the DAC.

Wednesday evening we hosted the New England Revolution at the Blue Valley District Athletic Complex (DAC) for the team’s last qualifying match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In spite of the day’s weather, the match was played on-time and aired on My KSMO TV. It was a stellar result for the team, who won 5-0 to advance to the round of 32 in Open Cup play, as well as a great debut for our team of interns who got a sneak-peek of what we’ll be doing at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park this summer.

Getting the DAC match-ready was an all day task, and we ended up working nearly 14 total hours Wednesday. In the morning we set up the static field boards we’d prepared Monday and unloaded most of our gear into the press box, but spent much of the morning waiting for severe storms to subside. After a short stint standing outside listening to the tornado sirens (“If the sun’s out we’ll be fine, right?”), we took cover in Blue Valley Northwest High School while reports of tornadoes touching down in KC poured in.

Of course everyone, and luckily everything we had already set up, was fine and the storms let up for most of the afternoon. I got the chance to watch our broadcast team set up their equipment, including the TriCaster and HD cameras, and even had the pleasure of running on an ultra-last minute errand with our broadcast engineer to get the correct power cables for our main camera.

During the game all of the interns were split up to handle different jobs and I was sent down to the field to help with our field level cameraman. During college basketball season I had always wondered how you get the job of holding the cables for the cameraman on the court, and…well, now I know. Even though I was just working the cable on the field, it was great to get to see firsthand the decisions the field cameras have to make about who and what to film at what times (like tackles, throw-ins or celebrations after goals).

The space we'll be broadcasting from at LSP will be quite an upgrade from our space at the DAC.

In the end, the game Wednesday was nothing compared to the pressure we’ll be under come June 9th. We’ll have to step up our game for ESPN2 and a sell-out crowd, and I’m excited to take on that challenge. However, the main task over the next two weeks will be to get the stadium up and running in time for the opener.

To be honest, I was frustrated at points last week with some of the things the interns were asked to do. But having talked with Chris Wyche, I definitely have a better understanding and appreciation for the work we’re doing at LSP. From now until June 9th, everyone’s focus at Sporting is the home opener and to be a part of that is a privilege. I’m excited to focus on broadcast this summer, but for the next 11 days the focus stays on getting LSP match ready.

Last night the team took their momentum to Colorado to face the Rapids in League play and came away with a 1-1 draw. That’s SKC’s first League point since April 2, and hopefully signals a turn for the better going into this Saturday’s match against Toronto FC.

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