Soccer is the cheapest sport in the world. At the very least, all you need is a field, a ball and four jackets or large sticks to set up goals. At its most expensive, soccer occurs in 100,000-seat stadiums with 160' HDTVs dangling above complete with a closed-air roof. The catch for all that snazz? No grass.
At least, that's the case for tonight's USMNT Gold Cup semifinal against Honduras in Cowboys Stadium. SI's Grant Wahl was in Dallas to witness the atrocious playing conditions for this evening's game.
Terrible field in Dallas for Gold Cup pic.twitter.com/Qwk5WfH3Rd— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 23, 2013
Pile of green sand to fill in grass gaps in Dallas pic.twitter.com/jDQfpwz58f— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 23, 2013
It doesn't just look bad, it feels bad, too. Here's more from Wahl's story:
Unlike most temporary grass surfaces, which are usually laid over an artificial-turf base, the one at Cowboys Stadium is laid directly over concrete. "It seems like concrete on top," U.S. goalkeepers coach Kasey Keller told me as he checked out the surface. "Hard. Real hard."
As the U.S. prepares to meet Honduras in the first semifinal on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer, UniMas, Univision Deportes), coach Jurgen Klinsmann wasn't very happy either. The U.S. press conference took place before he saw the field, but you could see Klinsmann shaking his head visibly as he walked on the grass for the first time.
Yikes. I wonder if they'd rather play in Denver?