NYCFC fans disappointed by lack of turf-related pratfalls in opening match

NYC F.C. held their opening game yesterday, and nobody tripped and fell on the temporary sod that was laid down as a soccer pitch. So, success! Also, the team won and David Villa scored a real pretty goal, so a good time was had by all.

For our unintentional laughs, then, we’ll have to turn to MLSsoccer.com’s article on the “rich soccer history” of ersatz Yankee Stadium, which has included several European friendlies! Also, Pele played a bunch of times in the stadium that had the same name across the street! It’s practically a soccer mecca! If you overlook the fact that the tiny pitch they squeezed in is smaller than all but one in the Premier League, but hey, short porches are part of the Yankee tradition.


5 comments on “NYCFC fans disappointed by lack of turf-related pratfalls in opening match

  1. Correction: nobody tripped and fell…and got injured because of it. Overall, the new turf held up well and there weren’t many divots at all, though a handful of players must have worn the wrong cleats as there were some slips and falls. But that narrow width and short field will cause some clubs to change tactics.

    I think they should demolish some walls and remove some seats to reconfigure the park so the soccer field will be a more traditional, larger size. I’m sure the Yankees will agree to that. ;-)

  2. Chris: Thanks, I was out and didn’t get to watch the game, just saw highlights.

    Duff: Nothing in the Premier League is smaller than the Bronx, but West Ham’s pitch is the same size, 70×110 yards. There’s a lot of variation, apparently — I watched the Barça game on Saturday, and they played in a stadium (Eibar, up in Basque country) that not only has a tiny pitch, it only has about two feet of clearance between the end lines and the stands. (And also apartment buildings right up against one side of the field.) I kind of like that about soccer, actually.

  3. Neil, FIFA guidelines specify that the length and width of playing surfaces must fall between 110–120 yards (100–110 m) long by 70–80 yards (64–73 m) wide, but I believe those requirements can be waived in certain circumstances. At Foxborough Stadium, the New England Revolution often play on a surface that is 106 or 108 yards long (you can see it when the NFL end zone graphic is still on the field.)

    Watching this game from last Saturday it was obvious that the field was very narrow, just by looking at the distance between the edge of the penalty area and the sideline. A narrower-than-normal surface could result in sloppy or even more physical play, even many more yellow and/or red cards. And many seats are at weird viewing angles.

    However, it gives them a huge home field advantage and it saves the taxpayers from having to allocate more resources to another stadium, so I approve.

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