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Qwest Field's Turf - Fact or Fiction

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There are so many statements about the XBox 360 Pitch at Qwest Field around the net that are blatantly untrue I figured it is time to start compiling them.

Statement: All artificial surfaces in MLS are the same.
Verdict: True
All current non-grass surfaces in MLS currently use some generation of Field Turf. In the past some of the artificial surfaces were other generation of bladed surfaces, and even AstroTurf.

Statement: Field Turf is more prone to injure soccer players.
Verdict: Mixed
This depends on what type of injuries. Most studies have shown the following injuries are more common on FieldTurf

Turf toe
Muscle trauma
Turf burn

Whereas on grass surfaces the following injuries are more common

Neural injuries
Ligament injuries
Debris injuries

FieldTurf's injuries threaten games, where as grass threatens careers.

Statement:Those studies just paid attention to American Football and not the world's game.
Verdict: False
The earliest studies were in fact done on high school football players, but subsequent studies have measured the effects on men's and women's collegiate soccer, as well as a study in Sweden for their league's players.

Statement: Major players don't want to play on FieldTurf.
Verdict: Mixed
While Beckham, Huckerby and several CSA players have stated that they don't like FieldTurf. Players such as Freddie Ljungberg have not objected to it.

Statement: Real Soccer countries don't play on Field Turf.
Verdict: False
40% of the U-20 World Cup in Canada to include the Finals were played on FieldTurf. Saprissa Stadium in Costa Rica is FieldTurf. Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Russia is a Field Turf Stadium and has hosted a UEFA Final. Many players complained prior to the match, but few after. Lastly, for the earlier referenced study of Swedish players it is obvious that several of their fields are Field Turf.

The fact is that FIFA will and has allowed FieldTurf surfaces and they are becoming more common, not less. Overtime we should all expect to see it in the World Cup Finals at some point, but this does not mean that the technology can settle. The ball does play a bit differently, and that needs to be fixed and the bounce of the ball is dramatically different depending on the generation of the FieldTurf being used (Qwest had an update last spring). But it is certainly an adequate surface, and is preferable to situations like the NFL game at Heinz Field which resulted in inches of standing water and mud.

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