Artificial turf vs. sod on concrete, which is worse?

The US Men’s National Team plays against the Mexican National Team at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas later tonight. The playing conditions for this game have been…less than ideal.

The atmosphere inside the Alamodome won’t be an issue. It will be rocking with 65,000 fans representing both teams. The concern will be about the playing surface. As the name gives it away, the Alamodome is an indoor facility so the stadium has artificial turf. US Soccer has decided to bring in natural grass to act as a temporary surface for the game.

That was posted on Saturday and the most alarming aspect is that the sod, while natural grass, is being placed on a concrete floor. How exactly is this better than artificial turf? I’m asking a serious question. We all know artificial turf can be bad for soccer players in regard to knee and leg injuries. How is loose sod, that’s on top of concrete and is not rooted any better than artificial turf?

I have to imagine the concrete that’s beneath the grass is going to be just as hard on a soccer player’s knees as artificial turf. There isn’t going to be too much give with both surfaces. Either way, it’s not an ideal situation for a playing surface. I don’t honestly know which is worse but it seems like a lose-lose situation.

On Tuesday, Mexico had reportedly moved their training session away from the Alamodome due to the playing surface. After some rumors that the game could’ve been cancelled, the game seems to be going on as planned. Honestly, this is going to be one of those games where I won’t care as much about the final score this time. I just don’t want to see anyone get injured due to the field. The playing surface has been a controversial storyline the past few days and someone getting hurt this close to the Gold Cup because of that surface will not do anybody any favors. Fingers are crossed that everyone is healthy after the game.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp

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