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Turf concerns in Seattle

Joshua Mayers reports that the Seattle Sounders' list on the league's weekly injury report has been one of the longest and notes that Seattle is also one of the few teams left in MLS that plays on an artificial turf.

Coach Sigi Schmid said the start of the NFL season has only worsened the playing conditions at the team's shared stadium (Qwest Field) with the Seattle Seahawks. "When turf is new and the blades stand up, it's OK," Schmid said. "When it gets a little more matted down, which is maybe the situation at Qwest now a little bit, we really have to look at (replacing) that turf a little bit earlier than normal because of the additional wear and tear that's been put on it by having a soccer team and a football team."

How much the artificial turf is to blame for the Sounders' injury woes can't be easily determined, but general manager Adrian Hanauer said he's been in constant communication with Vulcan Sports & Entertainment and the Seahawks in regards to the turf condition and potential replacement.

"It's a continuing evolution and conversation," Hanauer said. "There's no doubt that the soccer guys optimally would prefer a perfect grass pitch. Again I don't have enough information but my hunch is the football guys would prefer a perfect grass field, but there are just some realities to what we're dealing with and how we make it the best for everyone."

Read the whole story at Seattle Times »

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