Wambach Outspoken About Artificial Turf

After a 3-1 opening victory and a scoreless draw against Sweden, United States’ veteran forward stated she believes the U.S. would have more goals if the World Cup was held on grass as opposed to artificial turf.wambach4

In January, Wambach spearheaded a group of 60 players that filed a lawsuit against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association saying they were demonstrating discrimination against women because all men’s World Cups have been played on grass. The lawsuit was dropped a month later as it seemed to be going nowhere and Wambach felt it was best to divert her efforts to preparing for the World Cup.

It is no secret that balls bounce differently on turf no matter what sport you play. Players need to take a little off their passes as the ball moves much quicker on artificial surface.

Wambach said the following about the turf.

“The ball as it comes off my head against Sweden hits a dry turf and bounces higher. If it hits grass, it’s harder for a goalkeeper to react, so if the ball bounces higher the goalkeeper has more time to react off the turf.”

This was definitely evident as Wambach headed the ball down and it bounced hard off the turf before the goalkeeper tipped it over the crossbar.

The turf is also harder on the body when you land on it which could be why Wambach’s timing was off on two headers she misplayed against Australia. Normally, Wambach would have netted those balls home, but the headers were not even on frame.

The bottom line is all teams must play on artificial turf and adapt their game to the surface. The team that can possess the ball using shorter passes and less through balls on artificial turf will be the one holding the World Cup trophy at the end of the tournament. Whether it is the united States remains to be seen.

And that’s as I see it!

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Twitter handle: Scott_AsISeeIt

Internal photo courtesy of http://www.northjersey.com

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