Amidst concerns about security after violent fights erupted inside the ground in the last US men’s national team game, CONCACAF has another PR nightmare on their hands. This time it’s the playing surface for Wednesday night’s Gold Cup semi-final between USA and Honduras at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas that can be best described in one word: Pathetic.
The pitch for the Gold Cup semi-final is in such horrendous condition that stadium staff are preparing to fill in the holes on the pitch with green sand. The temporary pitch has been placed on the concrete floor with the field conditions being described as “Hard, real hard” by former US goalkeeper Kasey Keller, according to Grant Wahl who has been reporting on the developing story.
Here are two close-up images of the pitch:
For a regional competition of this stature, this is an embarrassment to CONCACAF and the Cowboys Stadium. In 2013, with all of the revenue being generated by significant ticket sales and advertising for this competition, you would expect the field conditions and security to be top notch. Instead the playing surface is something that is going to disrupt the ability for either team to pass the ball across the grass with ease, which is going to damage the end product that fans have paid a lot of money to see. Plus, why — for example — was the playing surface for the Mexico-Brazil friendly at the same stadium so much better? View the video below.
There’s still 24 hours to go before the US men’s national team plays Honduras in the Gold Cup semi-final, so the grounds crew have time to try to make the pitch into a better playing surface. But unfortunately, even with green sand, water and pitchforks, the playing condition of the pitch looks beyond repair.
The TV broadcast of the semi-final between USA and Honduras begins at 6:30pm ET on FOX Soccer on Wednesday, July 23.