Sounders Insider

What do you love/loathe about MLS? (Grass?)

I'm stealing the topic from LA Daily News soccer columnist Nick Green, who wrote this highly readable story on MLS after five weeks.

First up on his love/loathe list was this:

Love: That it's crowded in Seattle. When the Sounders announced they would not play in a soccer-specific stadium, I had my doubts. First, playing in a cavernous NFL stadium is almost never a good recipe for a great atmosphere (see the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium). Second, artificial turf can not only ruin a game with its unforgiving bounces, it can ruin careers, too (see the Chivas USA defender who injured himself in the pregame warm-up at Giants Stadium a few years ago and never played a game for the club).

Well, Seattle rained on my negative parade. The Sounders not only lead the league in attendance with an average of 29,939 for their first three games, but the atmosphere rocks. And I haven't heard any complaints about the fake grass surface.

(And while I certainly agree with him about the great atmosphere at Sounders games, I'm glad to hear him mitigate his complaint about FieldTurf. The Sounders played on natural grass for the first time on Saturday at Home Depot Center, and I thought that was also the first time this year that the playing surface negatively impacted the game.

When artificial turf was new, former baseball great Dick Allen once famously said that if horses horse couldn't eat it, he didn't want to play on it. Judging from Saturday, my suggestion would be that they invite a few horses into Home Depot Center, let them eat the pitch and then replace the stuff with FieldTurf.)

But that's my rant. What about you? Any of you want to pick up on Green's theme and share your loves and loathes from this first one-sixth of the MLS season?

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