July 17, 2011

Thierry Henry is High on Grass: New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry is not happy that some MLS teams continue to play on turf. In an interview where he groused about several subjects (including interviews), Henry said, "Turf is one of the most severe things Iíve seen for us to play on. "And the one in Seattle, I don't know if you can call it turf. It's not turf any more."

posted by rcade to soccer at 07:32 PM - 3 comments

One strange aspect is MLS' compling to foreign teams in their demands to have grass fields. When Manchester United came to play against the New England Revolution in its USA tour opener earlier this week, there was grass laid on the field above the team's standard turf.

If it can be done to please teams visiting from overseas, then why can't it be done for the league's players?

Average home Revs crowd: 10,000. Attendance for the Man Utd friendly: 51,523. Next question?

If Sir Alex had wanted the national anthem replaced with an operatic rendition of "We paid for their home", he'd probably have got it.

Henry makes a valid point about whether artificial pitches are good for the game -- FIFA has certified Gillette Field, but not Qwest Field -- but when MLS teams are minor tenants at NFL grounds, they get whatever the NFL team wants.

posted by etagloh at 09:04 PM on July 17

It's hard to believe the field at Gillette Stadium got certified for anything other than replacement.

posted by feloniousmonk at 10:52 PM on July 17

It seems pretty likely that new turf will be laid down for 2012 at Qwest (CenturyLink) Field, especially since UW will start sharing the ground in that year also.

New Playing Surface Likely Coming To Qwest Field In 2012

I don't think anyone really likes turf, but the disadvantages of laid grass on turf were pretty obvious in the weekend's Sounders-Rapids game. The pitch came up in huge chunks and the ball did not move all that well at all. Unless the Seahawks suddenly decide that grass is a sufficient playing surface and they're willing to shell out for a long and expensive pitch reconstruction, it's probably not going to happen.

posted by Errant at 03:49 PM on July 20

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