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October 23, 2011 at 3:20 AM

Schmid: New turf will make C-Link field easier to play on

I wanted to pass along some interesting comments from coach Sigi Schmid last night. I asked him if he was surprised Sounders FC was not only the best road team in MLS this season at 9-3-5, but earned more points away (32) than at home (31).

“Like I’ve said, obviously on the road we play a little more on grass,” said Schmid. “Sometimes that helps us because the ball holds up a little bit. CenturyLink is a little harder to play on right now; it’ll be easier next year once the new turf gets laid. Sometimes that takes away from our game a little bit because it’s tough for us to open our play and get the ball to our wingers and give them a chance to go at people.”

Certainly it’s not a huge surprise that CenturyLink Field will have a new turf, but no official announcement has been made. GM Adrian Hanauer gave me this update back in August:

I think we’re making very good progress in conversations with FieldTurf. It’s still highly likely — almost certain — that we’ll have a new surface for next season.

Back to Saturday night and Schmid was asked if that new turf would be made by Polytan, similar to what Vancouver had installed at the recently renovated BC Place.

“All that stuff, when it’s new, it’s great. Once it’s a couple years old then it’s time to replace it. I don’t care who the manufacturer is or whatever — and I don’t mean to offend anybody with that — but I think when the stuff is new, it plays very well, just as it did in Portland, and just as it (does) in BC Place right now, and just as it’s been playing for the last couple years in New England. Ours played very well the first year, as well. After that it sort of mats down, it doesn’t come back up and that’s when you’ve got to replace it.”

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