What They're Saying: Robbie Keane

"I've said it before and said it so many times. If this league wants to progress -- or any league in the world -- turf has to go. It's very simple. Very, very simple. It's not good enough. In this day and age, playing on turf, it's not good enough. It's completely different to play on. I don't care what anybody says, I've played on it. It's completely different -- it's not good for you. So if this league wants to progress, the turf 100 percent has to go."

-- MLS MVP Robbie Keane, on artificial turf, on which the second legs of both MLS conference finals were played. (ESPN FC)
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1 comment about "What They're Saying: Robbie Keane".
  1. Joseph Pratt, December 4, 2014 at 11:56 a.m.

    It's funny how this "turf issue" comes full circle as players progress. The kids I coach LOVE to play on turf, because the alternative is to play on very bumpy, rutted, and often dangerous, "grass" fields (more dirt than grass, oftentimes). And if there is grass, it is usually left so long that it dramatically affects the game by slowing the ball down to the point where it will come to a complete stop. The surface is a crucial, integral part of soccer. In the US many fields are share across sports, and the wear and tear renders grass fields in such poor condition that it's no wonder that teams that like to play the ball on the ground struggle, while the ones who are content to hoof the ball downfield in the air might succeed due to a bad or lucky bounce.
    But then you get pros who complain about playing on turf. Maybe they grew up playing on nice grass fields, but given the choice between turf, which offers predictable playing qualities, and torn up grass, why would anyone complain about turf? Perhaps as the current generation of youth players in the US, 12-17 year olds who are accustomed to and love the turf, progress up to the highest levels, all this beefing about turf will wane.

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