seriously we are talking about grass
Passing Grass: Will the Sod Stand Up for U.S.-Mexico?
Another friendly in a huge, domed stadium leads to another ridiculous controversy about the quality of the field. American Soccer Now’s Brooke Tunstall reports from San Antonio.
April 14, 2015
SAN ANTONIO—All is well. Remain calm!
That’s the word coming from U.S. Soccer after reports surfaced in the Mexican media Tuesday that the Mexican national team was so upset with the quality of the grass sod laid at the Alamodome for tomorrow’s friendly with the United States that the team was considering not playing.
Adding fuel to the fire, Mexico moved its Tuesday practice scheduled at the Alamodome to nearby Trinity University the same place the U.S. practiced Monday. (El Tri trained in Mexico Monday then flew here last night.)
Like most domed stadiums, the Alamodome’s normal field surface is artificial turf. Most players prefer to play on grass and installing a temporary such surface was a condition for the venue to host the U.S.-Mexico game.
Installation of temporary sod began Saturday and was apparently not completely installed when a representative of the Mexican Football Federation toured the field on Monday.
“The field installation was not completed when the Mexico National Team representative saw it on Monday,” said U.S. Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe. “Improvements have been made in the past 24 hours and the grounds crew will continue to provide maintenance in the lead up to tomorrow’s match. The field will be in playable condition in time for tomorrow’s match.”
The U.S. team is scheduled to train on the Alamodome’s new grass Tuesday afternoon.
Sod field generally take several days to being to take root so even with the improvements cited by U.S. Soccer, the grass will likely be loose in places and could impact the caliber of play.
Brooke Tunstall is an American Soccer Now contributing editor and ASN 100 panelist. Follow him on Twitter.