Greenfields: Team USA's New Home Turf
Synthetic is a dirty word in soccer circles. FIFA faced sharp criticism in 2015 for staging the Women's World Cup on artificial turf at different Canadian stadiums, the first time any World Cup deviated from natural grass. Players protested the decision and posted images of burned and bloodied legs and knees on social media to support their argument.
But in the Netherlands, one of several European nations where soccer reigns supreme among sports, the switch to synthetic has drawn mass appeal. The Dutch Premiere League turned to GreenFields USA and installed its MX Trimension turf in 18 venues. GreenFields entered the U.S. market in 2014 and quickly has become the turf of choice in high-profile sports complexes — a trend that caught US Lacrosse's attention in its search for a safe and sustainable playing surface for its new headquarters and training center in Sparks, Md.
US Lacrosse signed a five-year deal with GreenFields in October 2015, making it the official artificial turf partner.
"I believe GreenFields will emerge as the preferred synthetic surface for lacrosse," said Steve Stenersen, president and CEO of US Lacrosse.
Here's what we're hearing from Team USA players about the turf.
"It plays like grass."
Woven, not tufted, GreenFields MX combines the benefits of synthetic turf — cost effectiveness and durability — with the look and feel of natural grass. The fibers mimic grass blades in texture and structure, producing a consistent ball-roll direction and low friction. It keeps the ball in play and limits turf burn.
"It's not as hot."
The infill consists of hollow, cylindrical shaped granules that retain moisture to keep the playing surface cool. They are green, rather than black, another factor in the turf's low heat retention.
The shock and drain pad beneath the turf, combined with the grass-like fibers and infill, produce favorable G-max (surface hardness) and vertical deformation ratings. "When it comes to safety and playability, it takes a system to really give good safety ratings," said Danielle Byrd, marketing manager for GreenFields.
GreenFields also will supply two portable indoor fields at the US Lacrosse Convention and donate back to US Lacrosse a portion of proceeds from new installations resulting from member referrals. Visit uslacrosse.org/greenfields.
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