Saturday, February 9, 2008

Beckham Against Fieldturf (click for full article)

At a press conference in the bowels of RFK Stadium on Wednesday, Beckham spoke out strongly about the artificial surface at several MLS grounds and made his feelings perfectly clear: He hates them.

He likes real grass.

"Every game, every team, should have grass – without a doubt," Beckham said. "You can't ask any soccer athlete to perform at a high level on FieldTurf.

"That is one thing I think should change about the league because of what it does to your body. You are in bits for days afterwards."

He is not the first and certainly will not be the last player to complain about FieldTurf, which cures aches in the heads of franchise owners but allegedly creates pains in the joints of MLS players for days after matches.

But when such protests come from Beckham, it means so much more, and MLS may be left with little choice but to act. These comments, like every word the 32-year-old utters in public, will be heard around the globe and could potentially affect American soccer's ability to attract the international stars it craves.

FieldTurf looks to be a cheap option on paper, but if it causes injuries, reduces player effectiveness and turns away potential targets, then it is surely more trouble than it is worth.