In a press release from the World Cup last week, artificial turf took the spotlight away from natural grass in a sport that has been pro-natural grass made up of players that strongly prefer a natural surface an artificial one.
Although second generation artificial fields have distinct advantages over their ‘astro’ predecessors, many soccer players feel the ball doesn’t roll and bounce as they’ve come to expect it to on natural grass, which changes the game in a negative way. Also, there is a lot of sliding in soccer games and artificial fields don’t ‘give’ as much in that regard, which can be annoying to players trying to maintain a consistent style of play.
Abby Wambach, whose name is likely familiar and strongly associated with soccer in most of our minds, stepped into the spotlight to give her opinions on why she thinks playing the 2015 World Cup on artificial turf would be detrimental to the game. It’s worth a read.