Thursday, September 28, 2006

Players say no to Tornoto FC fake grass

Many of Canada's top soccer players are begging builders not to place artificial FieldTurf in the new Toronto stadium, but the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) says players should give it up because there is 'zero chance of natural grass being installed.'

One of the biggest supporters of a natural pitch is Canadian national team and Houston Dynamo midfielder Dwayne De Rosario. He says, "“I am definitely 100-per-cent pro grass. If they get grass in there instead of an artificial surface, it would be easier to draw better players and teams from Europe to play exhibition games and the fans will respect the team.”

De Rosario has been considered all but a lock to move to Toronto during the off season, however new Toronto coach Mo Johnson might need to reevaluate this idea since he thinks that "Any player who doesn't want to play on FieldTurf is not someone who we would be interested in having on our team."

Chief operating officer of the CSA Kevan Pipe stressed that the surface meets the highest possible FIFA standard, but that doesn't mean much when realize that Jack Warner and Nicolás Leoz also seem to meet FIFA's 'high' standards.

Fake grass does not belong in top league soccer. It causes the ball to play strange, it gives off way to much heat and it leads to turf toe (ask Eddie Johnson what that can do to a career). However, one can guess the reason Toronto FC want to put it down, money.

“Having a natural-turf stadium makes the facility unusable and uneconomical,” FieldTurf co-founder John Gilman said. “You have to use the stadium day in and day out for it to be a multiuse facility.”

Notice how Gilman didn't say anything about the quality of play, just that you can make more money from the stadium. I think that says a lot.

Yes, teams need to make money off their stadiums, but what is more important, having a place for the high school band competition or having a surface that will not lead to injuries for your professional athletes. The answer is right there on the pitch.

By the way, USL first division side Vancouver Whitecaps is planning on building their own stadium, however theirs will have a grass field.

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Anonymous Bob said...

Pretty sad if their national stadium is going with the fake stuff. I kind of get the sense that Toronto isn't going to go so well for MLS. Hope I am wrong.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Thomas Shawn said...

Is Toronto going to be in the MLS? If not, I don't care. Sports on fake grass are fake.

4:41 PM  
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1:22 AM  
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9:13 AM  
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4:59 PM  

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