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The Dispute Between Artificial Grass And Natural Grass: Opposition Or Integration?
Apr 19, 2018

Since Ibrahimovic joined the Los Angeles Galaxy, the 36-year-old Swedish forward has received the attention of the entire United States. After contributing the world wave and lore in his debut, everyone hopes to see him perform another miracle on the Major League Soccer field.

 

Although Ibrahimovic has recovered from a severe knee injury, he and the Galaxy coaching staff will still make some judgments later in the season to ensure his health. The Galaxy will welcome four games on artificial turf from June to October this year. Over the years, many of the former superstars who went to the United States to play football have been absent from the artificial turf because of concerns about injury. MLS’s reputation has thus been hit hard.

 

In 2014, the MLS Eastern Conference finals held at the home of the New England Revolution was Henry’s only time on the turbulent artificial turf. He was also the last game of his career. In addition, Warcraft Drogba has also been trying to avoid playing on the artificial turf. Beckham is an absolute anti-human grasshopper. In an interview in 2007, he said: "There is no doubt that each team should have its own natural lawn for every game."

 

I do not know if Ibrahimovic just because of dissatisfaction with the referee’s penalties, would have condemned France as a “shrog-state” temperament. Will he once again erupt on the turf issue?

 

From the statistical data, the league's turf will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the players. Last month, ESPN (American Entertainment and Sports Network) an anonymous survey of MLS active players revealed that 63% of the interviewed players admitted that artificial turf will affect their willingness to join a team. Another survey showed that half of the top eight players in the league’s hardest-to-play field were covered with artificial turf.

 

In North America, artificial turf is very common. In early April this year, it was reported that one of the reasons that caused Vancouver to withdraw from the 2026 World Cup bid was the high cost of temporarily planting grass in the BC Coliseum. As the organizers organized all competitions on artificial turf pitches, the 2015 Canadian Women's World Cup has attracted female soccer players from many countries to jointly protest.

 

Artificial turf has been accused of increasing the risk of injury to athletes, and it may also increase the home advantage of the team. Although football has always resisted artificial turf, studies have shown that such venues are more suitable for the use of rugby players. Therefore, artificial turf means a compromise between MLS and American football in the shared stadium of these two sports.

 

In stark contrast to the MLS, it is a concise statement in the rules of the English Premier League: "All the games in the league must not use artificial turf." When the European giants who came to the United States to play the warm-up match in summer insisted on the provision of pastures on the artificial course, the MLS could only pay tribute to obedience.

 

Although the dispute between artificial turf and natural grassland always presents a binary opposition, the reality is even more subtle: Many top clubs in Europe have begun to use the hybrid lawn system at home, that is, based on natural grass, on the lawn. Artificial weeds were implanted and artificial grass was used to fix natural grass roots to help the growth of natural grass while increasing the frequency of natural grass use.

 

However, a high-quality artificial grassland eventually trumps a muddy natural grassland. Today's science and technology are different from the simple "atomic turf" era. The Portland logger owner Merritt Paulson said in an interview last year, “There is a huge difference between different quality artificial turfs, just like the different natural pastures.”

 

In recent years, many teams from the Ligue 1 and Mexico's First Division have used artificial turf on the course, which makes the statement that "only unprofessional football countries use the grass." In the 2016-17 season, despite the opposition of many players, there are still one-third of the Dutch teams that have artificial turf at home.

 

According to Wilmer Cabrera, head coach of Houston Dynamo Football Club, artificial turf is a difficult time that the league needs to spend a lot of effort to overcome.

 

"In the MLS, you need to play on the grass. You also need to play on the natural grass. You have to go back and forth on the field for 5,000 miles. You have to withstand the humidity, the cold weather and the snow," said Cabrera. , "Put on the grass will make you more tired, muscles will suffer more damage, joints will also face more damage."

 

Houston can be said to be the cradle of artificial turf. Since the Houston Astros baseball team used artificial grass for the first time at the space dome in the 1960s, this highly durable turf has become popular. Despite Houston's unusually hot summer months, there are more than one team using the BBVA Compass Stadium. The Houston Dynamo team chose to cover the course with natural grass.

 

However, in last year's playoffs, the turf was badly damaged and it looked as if a group of moles was hosting a tunneling competition here. It's not hard to understand why Felipe Senderos would say that if Houston Dynamo's court turf is man-made, he would instead consider whether or not to join.

 

Dynamo's old wing forward Andrew Wenger's view is even more pragmatic: “To be the best league in the world, MLS has many aspects to consider, and the turf problem is just one of them. We certainly like all games They are all held on natural grassland, but North America's climate is different from everywhere else. How to find a balance between these issues and find the best solution is a big problem."

 

In the medium to long term, climate change brought about by extreme weather may complicate the use of natural grassland in certain areas of North America. A more logical outlook is to look forward to the further development of artificial turf technology, which will blur the line between synthetic turf and natural turf. The MLS may never become a league using only natural turf, even after Ibrahimovic left the league for many.