Recent statements from MLS commissioner Don Garber indicated that he is willing to implement significant league-wide reforms. That included the potential to introduce natural grass on top of artificial turf.
Teams facing Lionel Messi have the freedom to choose between the two. “That’s going to be the decision of every club when they travel to those stadiums that don’t have natural grass”, Garber told the media.
“My expectations are that that’s what they will do, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to figure all of that out. As you know, MLS promotes a lot of international games. We have been able to bring natural grass into those stadiums, but we’ve never done that for regular-season games.”
Charlotte not changing to real grass just for Messi
Lionel Messi signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Florida club. Consequently, he will play on artificial grass pitches on several occasions. The bulk of the Argentine’s games this season are on real grass. However, several key opponents use turf or some kind of hybrid.
For example, the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Atlanta United, New England Revolution, and Charlotte FC do not use real grass.
Charlotte plans to continue using turf surface
In fact, the decision-day matchup between Charlotte FC and Inter Miami could not be more significant for both clubs. However, the Crown reportedly wants to play the remainder of its MLS regular season home games in 2023 on its turf.
Messi and Inter Miami visit to Charlotte and Bank of America in late October, but the home side does not intend to lay down genuine grass for the clash.
“All of our Major League Soccer matches are scheduled to be played on turf and there is no plan to change to natural grass”, a team spokesperson said in a statement.
In his illustrious career with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner seldom played on turf. Therefore, most of his 807 career goals happened on real grass. He hopes to add some more at DRV PNK stadium during his stay in MLS.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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