July 6, 2007

U-20 World Cup Notebook - Field Turf: Quit yer bitchin'...

I came across this interesting article from the AP on the Sports Illustrated site. It seems that some teams are complaining about the fields in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto not being grass but FieldTurf.

I can understand the whole argument about tradition and purity of the game, but I consider us here at the Cupcake Nation to be experts on this topic.

You see, our league over at Silverbacks Park is played entirely on FieldTurf. We've been playing on the surface for almost a year now and are more than qualified to give our opinions.

That's why I'm telling the whiners up in Canada to shut up. Sure, FieldTurf has its downpoints. I come home from every game covered in rubber pellets, rug burns (I'm a goalkeeper, it's my job to throw myself on the field) and the problems that arise with not evening the pellets out enough or having too much of that rubber stuff on the field.

But in the grand scheme of things, I love it. I like playing on it much more than I like playing on grass. We've been fortunate enough to play in the Silverbacks' stadium, where the turf is much better than on the adjacent fields (which they turn into parking lots on gamedays). It's much better on your knees than the old Astroturf and even grass and once you get used to the bounces, it feels like a natural surface.

Besides, how many of the players in Canada right now played in the U-17 World Cup in Peru in 2005? A lot of them did, and ALL of those fields were FieldTurf, not just half of them. Plus, without FieldTurf you wouldn't have games at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and the surface is much easier to maintain than grass and if maintained properly, doesn't wear down nearly as much as grass.

For all those detractors, I invite you to come out to Silverbacks Park on a league night and walk the surface or kick around on it. I'm sure you'll like it a lot more than you think...

1 comment:

Turfmutt said...

Great article - One problem, the fields in Peru were NOT FieldTurf and they had horrible reviews.

The following seven US pro soccer clubs play home matches on FieldTurf in 2007: Major League Soccer -- Toronto FC, NY Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake; United Soccer Leagues -- Rochester Rhinos, Atlanta Silverbacks, Seattle Sounders.

Bob Lilley, head coach of 2006 United Soccer Leagues champion Vancouver Whitecaps

“In a perfect world, I would want a combination of grass and turf fields to be utilized by my teams. However, in the absence of a full-time groundskeeper and the investment required to maintain top-level grass fields, FieldTurf is exceptional. Speed of play is a major component in the development of players and I want a high quality consistent surface. To me, that is FieldTurf. My teams in Hershey, Montreal, and Vancouver have trained on it nearly every day, and it has proven to be very beneficial.”