WASHINGTON, DC - Bruce Arena, the outspoken coach of the LA Galaxy and five-time MLS Cup winning coach, is sparing when it comes to praise and open with his criticism. Arena has been openly critical in the media of the synthetic turf surfaces at four MLS venues.
This week, the LA Galaxy team traveled to Washington to meet with President Obama on the heels of their MLS Cup victory. They also took the time while they were in town to take on Georgetown University in a closed scrimmage, which the Galaxy won 2-1.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Arena was asked is the synthetic turf playing surface was better or worse than the FIFA 2-Star surface in Seattle.
“Better,” said Arena. “I don’t know why because the climate is more extreme here in D.C. with the heat and cold, snow. I was impressed with Georgetown given it was below freezing; it could’ve been slippery, and it never was.”
Georgetown’s playing surface is a product of Shaw Sports Turf, an American-owned manufacturer based in Calhoun, Georgia. The Shaw Sports Turf Momentum system mirrors the same look and feel as natural grass and is known for its durability and overall performance. With a 2.5-inch pile height and a two-inch infill that is a 50-50 mix of sand and rubber, the Momentum 51 system offers the best combination of firmness, speed and safety. The same system is used on the practice and game fields of the Baltimore Ravens.
Amazingly, the field at Georgetown might be subjected to more play than any other synthetic turf field in the country.
“This field is in use from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. almost every day,” said Brian McGuire, Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Operations at Georgetown. “We chose Shaw Sports Turf because we recognized the quality of the company and the products they provide.”
The field is used as a game and practice field by the football team, as well as men’s and women’s lacrosse. It also sees use from the men’s and women’s soccer team and from a variety of club sports teams and intramural sports such as softball, ultimate, and flag football.
“This field’s what we live on,” said Brian Wiese, head coach of the men’s soccer team. “It handles all the traffic. It handles all the usage brilliantly. Most importantly, it drains really, really efficiently and it’s always available.”