Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fake grass making life worse for LA

The Galaxy find themselves and a bad situation. Sitting near the bottom of the league table while suffering a number of injuries is not a winning combination. What makes it worse is some of those injuries seem to be due to the artificial turf used at various stadiums around the league.

"So far in August, the Galaxy has played four MLS games, three on fake grass, and the team has lost five players as a result."

Those injured by turf include defender Abel Xavier, midfielder Quavas Kirk, midfielder Kelly Gray, defender Ante Jazic and defender Troy Roberts.

The league likes to pretend that there is no difference but anyone who has ever played on fake grass can tell you there is. The ball moves awkwardly, it generates a great deal of heat around your feet and it takes more time to recover; yet four teams play on it.

If MLS is serious about attracting some of the best players in the world through the designated player rule, they are going to need to reevaluate their stance on this issue because very few like playing on anything except natural grass.

I can understand teams that do not have their own stadium being forced to use the stuff, but if you own it, then spend the little extra and give the players the best.

By the way, the LA Times article mentions that there are five teams with artificial surfaces: Toronto, New England, New York, Chicago and Real Salt Lake. Did Chicago scrap their natural grass system at some point in the last few months and I missed it? I don't recall hearing about it but can anyone from Chicago verify that they are still playing on the real stuff?

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Blogger ERic said...

As far as I know, RBNY and RSL's problems will be taken care of when their new stadiums open. So once that happens, we're down to just 2 teams with artificial turf.

If Toronto keeps having injury problems (and keeps up the high attendance), I would like to think they'd consider going with the real stuff along with a stadium expansion.

*IF* that happened, then you'd be down to just one team, New England, on artificial.

So, here's hoping that that stadium in whereever that was on the north side of Charles happens.

Until that time, there's nothing that anyone can really do.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Allen said...

Why again did Toronto FC build a new stadium without grass????

4:52 PM  
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