Sunday, March 4, 2007

HDC, I love you

"There's no place like Home Depot Center, there's no place like Home Depot Center."

Laptop? Check. Digital recorder? Check. Jacket? Check.

I followed my normal match-day routine yesterday afternoon as I prepared to head out to a soccer game on a Saturday night. It felt like I was covering an MLS game.

Until I exited Firestone off the 605 instead of Central off the 91.

Unfortunately, my destination was not Home Depot Center but rather Warren High School in Downey. I wasn't disappointed that I was covering a girls high school soccer game; I was actually looking forward to the Temecula Valley-Redlands East Valley game. But there was the small detail of an 8 p.m. start and no internet access at the stadium. Who the hell needs internet anyway?

So I was hoping that the match would end in regulation but before the game even started I knew that would not happen. There was no chance of that happening, actually. Seems that in CIF the finals end at regulation no matter the score. One of the earlier games had ended in a 0-0 tie. Yes, the dreaded co-champs.

That's just another reason why I much rather prefer dealing with Major League Soccer than CIF, because they don't just change rules on a whim.

Oh wait....

Still, Chivas USA have provided a wireless internet feed since the 2005 season and the Galaxy got on board at the beginning of last year. It's pretty much a given now for most places to provide a wireless feed.

The game was pretty exciting. There were a lot of great plays and awesome performances as you would expect from a final. Redlands East Valley scored early and carried the lead into the second half but REV scored an own goal and then Temecula Valley won it on a nifty little run by by Natalie Ducatenzeiler. Temecula Valley held for a 2-1 win.

After the game, I went down to do interviews, raced back up to the press box and wrote my story. I was done writing right at 10 p.m. but of course with no wireless feed, I couldn't send it in anywhere. I was headed toward the Starbucks but a colleague, Damian Secore, had suggested the Kinkos so I stopped there and filed.

I take Home Depot Center for granted sometimes. Never again!

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