Let the consternation over Seattle’s selection as a World Cup qualifier venue begin!

7 Comments

You have the potential over the next few days to hear more than you want to know about grass.

Specifically, about soccer fields and the ins and outs of temporary grass surfaces that are sometimes installed over artificial turf fields for international soccer matches.

It’s topical because Seattle, long a bystander in the World Cup qualifier venue process due to the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field, finally got into the game. Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier for the United States, against Panama, is there.  And to make it happen, officials have laid in temp turf at CenturyLink.

Well, this looks like a great place to get the conversation started – because one man who just played on the field has blasted this gambit. Seattle and Vancouver worked the field last night (a 3-2 win for the Sounders) and Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Brad Knighton was not impressed.

What he told MLSSoccer.com:

Not to make excuses, but the field was ridiculously terrible. It’s heavy, it’s bumpy, the turfs coming up, and it’s just a weird surface to play on. Anytime you put grass on top of turf you are going to get something like that.”

He was especially miffed because steady center back Andy O’Brien went off injured, and Knighton cited the turf as a partial cause, at least:

Not to make excuses, but maybe Andy doesn’t get injured if we aren’t playing on grass laid on turf. 

We’ll have more later today at ProSoccerTalk as the chatter over grass and CenturyLink evolves.