The USA's Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey share their concerns about the pitch at Ford Field for their Gold Cup matchup against Canada.
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DETROIT - The United States and Canada won’t have to worry about weather conditions during their match in Detroit on Tuesday night, but they will have to worry about a new grass pitch and the rare roof over their heads at Ford Field.
For a goalkeeper you’d think Tim Howard of the U.S. would have a problem adjusting to unfamiliar conditions – especially crowd noise and different lighting in the dome stadium - but that is not the case.
“I actually kind of like it maybe because it’s kind of like playing in the snow. It doesn’t happen so often,” Howard said of playing indoors. “It’s fun to be out there. It’s a different atmosphere, but it’s not going to make or break a game either way. It keeps the noise in it, which is what we’re looking forward to.”
Howard and several of his teammates expressed concerns over playing on a patch of grass that was placed over turf over the past few days, but the Stars and Strips No. 1 felt the playing surface was good enough to play on when his team takes the field for its Gold Cup opener.
“It was OK today,” Howard said after Monday night’s practice. “You get the same issues all the time. It was kind of spongy and not necessarily knit together yet, but It’s OK.”
Clint Dempsey had a little bit of a stronger opinion on the unusual field.
“I don’t really like it when they put the grass over the turf,” Dempsey said. “It makes the field a little bit heavy. The ball doesn’t bounce the same on a multi-level surface. But both teams have to play with it and we’ll make the most of it.”