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Soccer players not a fan of Michigan Stadium’s turf

Louis van Gaal

Michigan Stadium, the largest stadium in the United States, is hosting two of international soccer’s most recognizable clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid. The early reviews from the soccer world are not glowing for Michigan Stadium’s temporary turf. Michigan installed a natural grass turf specifically for this event but will return to an artificial turf before the start of the college football season.

“The pitch is not so good, and that’s a pity,” Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal said. This came after a two-hour practice session, according to “We have fantastic teams, and we have to play on a bad pitch. The ball is not rolling, it’s not bumping as usual.”

Maybe Michigan’s football team can use that same excuse?

It has been quite the offseason for Michigan Stadium. The historic venue hosted the NHL’s Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on New Years Day, Michigan’s spring game and now a soccer match. Michigan football is just around the corner as well.

The field may not be ideal for footballers, but it is still a pretty neat view to see…

The soccer match has been months in the making. We first heard of the possibility of the match back in late January. Hosting the match is just the latest attempt made by Michigan AD Dave Brandon to make more use of Michigan Stadium when not in football season. If Michigan can overcome the criticisms about the turf, then this will not be the last big time match we will see in Ann Arbor.

Note: As has been pointed out, Michigan installed a natural grass field specifically for this event and will return to the artificial turf before the start of the college football season.

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30 Responses to “Soccer players not a fan of Michigan Stadium’s turf”
  1. bonnovi says: Aug 2, 2014 3:31 PM

    Who gives a darn what the “football” players think…

  2. mitchem85 says: Aug 2, 2014 3:41 PM

    Bonnovi, I hate to tell ya, but fútbol is the biggest sport in the world. It does matter what they think since they are playing on it.

    Don’t be “that” guy, have some class

  3. mudhead123 says: Aug 2, 2014 3:47 PM

    SOCCER is not even remotely popular in the US. That’s why they should shut up or stay out of our country

  4. hojo20 says: Aug 2, 2014 4:03 PM

    Astroturf sucks for any sporting event.

  5. phuckosu says: Aug 2, 2014 4:05 PM

    Soccer is actually the fastest growing sport in the US. The US, not including the home country of Brazil, was the most well represented country at the World Cup…by a long shot. Don’t be “that” guy because you are too closed minded

  6. derekgorgonstar says: Aug 2, 2014 4:37 PM

    That’s because the stadium was designed for men’s sports.

  7. lanzurrah says: Aug 2, 2014 4:39 PM

    Watching this match on TV, The Big House is absolutely packed….so obviously someone cares about “soccer” in the US.

  8. imaduffer says: Aug 2, 2014 4:52 PM

    “make more use of Michigan Stadium when not in football season.” They could be like A&M and practice yelling and have pray meetings.

  9. mattinuk says: Aug 2, 2014 5:07 PM

    Typical American comments. You should be honoured that you get to see the greatest sport in the world on your doorstep. The biggest sport in the world. And it’s football not soccer. No one cares about your rounders or sillybowl. This is a real sport watched by billions.

  10. bonnovi says: Aug 2, 2014 5:17 PM

    The growth of soccer in America is overrated, it’s mostly a byproduct of globalization of the increased ability to view foreign games here in America. As far as I can tell the sport’s popularity was, and still is, limited to hipsters and small slices of immigrant communities.

    (Also, Real Madrid and Manchester United are two of the most popular teams in the world that attract thousands of roadies who travel with them wherever they go. I wouldn’t be surprised if a substantial portion of the crowd there is made up of them.)

  11. mattinuk says: Aug 2, 2014 5:19 PM

    Infact, the biggest event in your country is the Super Bowl..

    Highest ever attendance for that is 103,000

    A simple exhibition friendly between two soccer sides has beaten that. How does that make you feel?

  12. bonnovi says: Aug 2, 2014 6:04 PM

    Makes me feel like they should hold the Super Bowl in Michigan Stadium…

  13. footballer4ever says: Aug 2, 2014 7:23 PM

    Ahhhhh! The insecurity/hatred of naive/ignorant people spitting venom at football. How pitiful for you must be that the outdated/lame “soccer joke” era is not what it used to be because you end up being the joke of the crowd instead. Long live Football, World Football, that is!

  14. imaduffer says: Aug 2, 2014 7:43 PM

    Definition of the word “flop”. When a grow adult pretends to have been tripped by another grown adult and then lies on the ground pretending to be hurt. It is such a manly game isn’t it?

  15. bonnovi says: Aug 2, 2014 8:06 PM

    I know, the flopping’s one of the reasons I dislike soccer so much. It’s even worse than basketball.

  16. mudhead123 says: Aug 2, 2014 9:12 PM

    Attendance means nothing. Does it make you proud that 3rd world counties love this “sport”? It’s popular because it’s cheap (need a ball). While professional players are very athletic, the states have kids who can’t play American sports so they result to soccer.

  17. mudhead123 says: Aug 2, 2014 9:18 PM

    What I also find hilarious is the US soccer team beats these teams who pound their chest at “our sport”. I would like to see them play a football game against the US

  18. colmel says: Aug 2, 2014 9:48 PM

    WTH? They put in natural turf just for this stupid game.

    So they spent a pretty penny to put in turf and these prima donnas don’t like it? Sorry, don’t take the big dollars thrown your way for the game. Don’t come back.

  19. colmel says: Aug 2, 2014 9:52 PM

    mattinuk, before you start spouting numbers for “games” in our country, you might want to check your facts. Michigan Stadium “the Big House,” routinely fills the stadium with larger numbers than tonight’s soccer game for COLLEGE – not professional – American-style football. There’s plenty of room for both sports. No need to get all prissy over one being “better” than the other.

  20. footballer4ever says: Aug 2, 2014 10:47 PM

    Mudhead- You are so naive even when you talk. Better think before you speak or in this case, type your thoughts out.

    1)”Attendance means nothing”? How the football haters script has changed with time, huh? Wasn’t it before noone cares for “soccer” let alone fill out your eggball stadiums?

    2) “Does it make you proud that 3rd world counties love this “sport”? It’s popular because it’s cheap (need a ball). ”

    Yeah, the US is so not “3rd world country” (snotty American attitude toward other countries) that you have living “3rd world ” citizens living in this country too unless you live in the suburbs and don’t leave your “Dome” to realize that.

    As far as “the sport is popular because it’s cheap (need a ball)” spiel which it’s a dinosaur mentality, what do poor or lack of resources black kids play in their neighbohoods, do they play with gold balls and NBA-like basketball courts? oh, what about your own eggball playing kids? do they play in pristine nfl like grounds with nice uniforms and cleats? It’s only because High School/College has the resources that some are able to overcome their “3rd wold country” living that most kids don’t get to. That’s the ones who go to school based on sporting purposes. There are also smart black people who are able to overcome their status by going to school and getting cultured and not rely on a sport to do it for them.

    3) “the states have kids who can’t play American sports so they result to soccer.”

    (buzzer) Wrong! they play other sports because the opportunitie$ and established league$ entice them to do that; However, that will change as they see their opportunities don’t lie only within a college or the not for literate league, but there’s Worlwide Football Leagues which they can try their luck on to eventually get to the football league the’ve dream of their own entire life. Btw, MLS, as decent football league is compared to other established worldwide football leagues, continues to grow each year.

    Again, Thank you Football haters, your undivided hatred sure confirms the importance/grown Football is gaining as each year goes by.

  21. footballer4ever says: Aug 2, 2014 11:06 PM


    Definition of the word “hater”. When a grown adult pretends to love their sport and gets all worked out by adults who love a football that is not of his/her comfort and/or approval and then relies by pretending to be superior and knowledgeable simply by repeating old spitting venom scripts and make them sound as thruthful. What a “manly” way to lead your life by, huh, mate!

  22. njsr1 says: Aug 3, 2014 7:27 AM

    This conversation escalated pretty quickly! It seems passions run high when it comes to American college sports in the US.

    To preface my comments I’m English, I live in New York. My girlfriend is from Ann Arbor and so I’ve been to the Big House and first off it’s a very impressive stadium and I’ve watched my fair share of college football games on TV and at a couple of college stadiums. Obviously the turf you would use for football and what you would use for Soccer/Football is likely a very different surface, the grass I’m sure is coarser and thicker to take into account the pounding it takes from some pretty large defensive players. Soccer on the other hand needs a surface that allows the ball to travel smoothly for a good passing game. The grass used would not be the same, just as on a golf course you would not seed the green and fairway as you would seed the rough.

    Additionally these comparisons could be made between Soccer and Rugby. A rugby surface would not be good to play Soccer on. And if you’re looking for a comparable game to Football then this sport is worth a look. I played both at school and I can tell you that both games are very physical, obviously in different ways.

    As for the obvious split here between lovers of American sports and the sport of Soccer I don’t agree with the absolute split here. I prefer watching the Premier League Soccer on a Saturday morning than watching American sports, but I do enjoy the college games. My brothers back in London have been Tottenham Hotspur season ticket holders for many years. One of my brothers is also a big NFL fan way back from the year Channel 4 showed the games back in 1986. He’s attended every game the NFL has put on at Wembley. The point being that plenty of people like sports from both sides of the pond, but they’re favourite is likely to be the game they grew up with. Likewise NY Redbulls fans are likely also Baseball or Hockey fans.

    And as for the size of the game I don’t think Soccer will ever take over from Baseball and Football as the biggest sports. But it certainly will grow and increase it’s market share in the US. And as colleges start offering more prestigious scholarships for soccer I think we’ll see a stronger MLS and US National team in the future. Like it or not I’m afraid Soccer is here to stay.

  23. imaduffer says: Aug 3, 2014 12:58 PM


    Did you just write down my name in your little book and give me a “yellow card?” Oh no! I just tripped over the grass, bring out the stretcher.

  24. fsu01 says: Aug 3, 2014 1:22 PM

    I can not understand the reason for the hatred to be spread in here. My favorite sport is college football followed by the NFL. That is a personal preference. I do see the appeal in soccer, and somebody brought up the “all you need is a ball” argument as if that is a bad thing. I like both sports, but the problem is not that one is a man’s sport and one is not. The problem is as another poster reported the grass needed for both is different. This is why many MLS cities are beginning to build a soccer only (I am not going to get into the which one should be called football argument only using the separate words for clarity purposes) stadium.

    As far as the flopping, that is a problem in soccer but seems to be accepted much more so than in basketball. Even though there seems to be an over abundance of flopping it does not change the appeal of the sport. I have not been a life long fan, but I will say that I have become a fan as a result of watching the last two world cups.

    Point is neither is better than the other but one is more popular in the United States and one is more popular world-wide. Does not make one better than the other both are appealing in their own way.

  25. mudhead123 says: Aug 3, 2014 1:35 PM

    I stopped reading at “egg ball”. Soccer is not a sport that the US likes. I you enjoy no scoring so be it. If stadiums held more they would have higher attendance. That’s why I said attendance doesn’t matter.

  26. mudhead123 says: Aug 3, 2014 1:38 PM

    I know for a fact that in the US kids that suck at being athletic play soccer( again pros in soccer are very athletic). It’s a fall back sport here for kids who shouldn’t play sports at all. Yet the US is better than a good majority of countries who focus on soccer. I laughed so hard watching teams lose to the US

  27. mudhead123 says: Aug 3, 2014 1:49 PM

    @fsu1…. I didn’t mean that in a negative light. Just explaining how it can be popular in 3rd world countries.

  28. jylick says: Aug 4, 2014 1:38 PM

    Mudhead, I’ve determined that you sir, are a moron.

  29. Deb says: Aug 5, 2014 10:02 PM

    @fsu01 …

    The hatred seems to be coming from non-Americans who’ve logged onto an American football site to slam American football. I’ve never logged onto a soccer blog to slam soccer, or the countries where it’s popular. It should go without saying that you’ll find more college football fans than soccer fans on a college football blog. So it’s a little silly to come here and post “mine’s bigger than yours” comments about another sport.

    Then again, it’s also a little silly to post articles about soccer players and their opinions of turf on an American football blog.

  30. colmel says: Aug 6, 2014 7:01 AM

    Deb, thank you! I couldn’t agree more.

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