I have shot indoor soccer and basketball but my daughter is now starting AYSO U8 soccer outdoors. The games will be from 1-3pm and I just realized how little experience I actually have shooting people in mid-day sun without the freedom to find some shade, put the sun to their back, or a use a diffuser.
I took my daughter to the field today at 2 pm (still marked from yesterday's games) to take some test shots. The fields run east-west. I stayed around the southwest corner in an attempt to keep the sun at my back as much as possible. Shooting from behind the goal line created pretty strong side light. I shot manual, slightly overexposed for direct sunlight per sunny 16, then brought the shadows up a lot and lowered the blacks to add back some contrast. White balance is Canon's daylight preset.
I shot these with the 70-200 but also have a 100-400 II. Even on a small field, the 70-200 isn't much good past the halfway line. But I'm afraid the 100-400 might be too long and I might not be able to get clear shots with it at distance anyway since the kids tend to bunch up at lot.
The backgrounds are pretty bad but it is what it is. Even shooting wide open isn't going to hide them so I'm considering stopping down a bit to get more kids in focus. Like I said, they tend to bunch up at this age so there can easily be 4-5 kids around the ball at once.
Shot from behind SW corner. Exposure pushed +0.40, Shadows +80, blacks -20
Shot from behind goal, corner kick at NW corner. Shadows +100, blacks -30
Shot from near goal. Throw in from south sideline. Exposure +1, Shadows +100, blacks -30
Shot from behind SW corner. Exposure pushed +0.70, Shadows +100, blacks -20