It's A Wonderful Life

“Manchester, Madrid, Los Angeles or Freetown… football’s a game people love everywhere you go…Every dressing room [is] full of players from different countries, different continents. But, even though you may not speak the same language as your teammate–and you may have been brought up in completely different backgrounds–when you’re playing football together you understand each other perfectly.” 

– David Beckham (U.K.)

Over the weekend, friends of mine from various walks of life came together to have fun and simply enjoy each other's company. The weekend had been planned for quite some time and even with a few kinks along the way, it ended up playing out just perfectly. The main event of the weekend was soccer-focused and the

CONCACAF Gold Cup

 was in the spotlight. Lucky for us, we were able to see TWO quarterfinal games in ONE day! The first game was Costa Rica vs. Honduras. The second was Mexico vs. Guatemala.

I have been extremely fortunate to have attended the FIFA World Cup in the past and these two events were easily comparable. Team spirit saturated the air, powerful enthusiasm filled our ears and vibrant fans covered every direction in which we looked. Whether or not you were from one of the countries playing, you couldn't help but be completely consumed by the contagious energy everywhere.

Being fond of American traditions, we collectively planned a tailgate party at which we ate, drank, laughed, played games and made friends prior to kick-off. The parking lot of The New Meadowlands Stadium (aka Giants Stadium) is an ideal location for tailgating, encouraging us to take full advantage of the sports-related opportunity. Of course, I snapped some shots of the event as it played out to ensure that I shared some of my favorite moments with all of you.

The games, themselves, were completely outrageous. The passion was evident in every spectator and it was nearly impossible to avoid being consumed by it. Honduras was the victor of the first game and Mexico took the win in the second match. From children to the old-timers, the spirit of the audience had no age requirement. Within the stadium, we cheered as a universal unit hoping that our designated teams would win. Some left disappointed, some left overjoyed. But in the end, we all had a "fan"tastic time together. Get it!?

{Savannah and Ozzy}

                                   {Slappey -- Step aside George Forman}

{Melissa and Sara}

                          {Ladder ball}

{Our favorite and best new teammate, Carlitos}

{Emily and Melissa -- two of my worlds colliding}

{Beth and Sav -- you picked the right chairs, girls}

{Vibrant Suzanne}

{Meghan: Cornhole Enthusiast}

{My little fashion inspiration}

{Nearby vendor snacks...delectable} 

{Cornhole aka Bean Bag Toss}

{Beautiful Savannah}

{Chelsea and Me -- Or should I say, Chels squared? Thanks, Millie}

{Beth, Me, Suzanne, Emily, Savannah}

{Our new Family}

{Country Pride}

{Me gusta Copa Oro!}

{Costa Rica v. Honduras}

{Beginning of the shoot out}

{No pressure}

{Undercover: Ozzy & Rob. Sorry, you've been exposed.}

Even if you're not a soccer fan, I highly recommend attending a game. It's a brilliant sport; there's a reason it's the most played game in the world. Countdown for the next World Cup: 1080 days.

Happy Hump Day!

Love and Laughter,

Kelsey :)