CenturyLink Field's warts were there for all to see and Adrian Hanauer knew there was no point in hiding from them. The Seattle Sounders GM and part owner admitted that he was "frustrated and angered" by the state of the pitch for the Aug. 10 match against the Houston Dynamo, but also stated his belief that it was a mistake that wouldn't be repeated.
"I didn't need the media to write about it or the players to pan it for me to see it and walk on it," Hanauer told reporters on Monday. "It was subpar. The field crew knew it was subpar, the people who run the stadium knew it was subpar, everyone watching on TV could tell it was subpar, every player knew it was subpar.
"But in fairness it was a mistake, it was a screw up, people came forward and said given the timing, given the processes, we just didn't get it right and it will be right for now on. For me, that's sort of case closed. If it happens again, it's not case closed, but everything I heard was that it was a one-time screw up and it won't happen again."
To recap, CenturyLink's field had been used for a private event -- since identified as Amazon's annual picnic -- the day before the Sounders-Dynamo game, giving the field crew significantly less time than normal to get the pitch in playing condition. The Sounders said the short prep period in combination with the warmer-than-normal weather kept the rubber pellets from settling properly, creating a significantly discolored pitch that players insisted had an effect on the way the ball rolled.
As upset as Hanauer may have been about the state of the pitch, he did add that any problem were "100 percent not about the age" of the turf, which is now in its third MLS season of use. On Monday, two days before the Sounders' next home game, the field was looking much improved.