The Sounders have concluded their training session at BC Place Stadium, site of tomorrow's game against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
This was the Sounders first time in the renovated stadium -- last season the derby was played at temporary Empire Field. So we asked some of the players what they thought. The top two items were the overhead scoreboard and the tuft -- though not for the reason you might imagine.
ROGER LEVESQUEOn the stadium) They told me not to kick the ball too hard against the scoreboard, otherwise it might come down. It’s beautiful what they’ve done with the place. I’m looking forward to seeing it full tomorrow.
On the turf) The turf’s great. The little rubber pellets are brown rather than black, so it’s a little bit almost like you’re playing on real grass. They really thought that one through up here in Vancouver, Canada. We’re a little bit behind on that.
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On the rivalry) It obviously goes back longer than I’ve been around. … It’s been great to be a part of it through the USL days and into MLS. I think it’s just going to gain traction as the two teams play each other more. I know we’ve got a big group of Emerald City Supporters coming up … taking busses. There should be a lot of green fans along with the blue and white. I’m looking forward to seeing that energy and feeling this place rocking.
JEFF PARKEOn the stadium) It’s kind of weird. It’s a bit enclosed. It seems like everywhere we could hit something. When you look up you feel like if you clear a ball you could hit the top of the net there, or the big screen – but I hear they bring that up so it’s not in play, even though we’ve been punting balls up there.
On the turf) It’s weird. It’s a little bit different. I notice they’ve got brown with the specs, so they tried to make it look like there’s dirt in there. It’s a little bit stiffer. It doesn’t play as rubbery as ours does, but it’s not bad. I hear when they wet it, it’s a good surface to play on.
Coach SIGI SCHMIDOn the stadium It’s nice. You’ve got a controlled climate. The elements aren’t going to be a factor in the game. The turf is decent. It will be for a good game. It’s loud. The sound is going to stay in here. So when the fans are here it’s going to be a great atmosphere.