Will the soccer field at MCU Park be slip free? We’ll find out Saturday night. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Given the weather forecast, there just be might a whole lot of slipping and sliding going on in Coney Island Saturday night.
No, it won’t be a pregame activity for children, but what could transpire at MCU Park when the Cosmos host Puerto Rico FC at 7 p.m. (MSG Networks, ESPN3, NASL.com).
With as much as two to three inches of rain forecast for the metropolitan area, the field could be more slippery than usual and that could make a major challenge for both North American Soccer League teams.
In their first two matches at MCU, the Cosmos had more than enough trouble keeping their balance due to a wet pitch.
“It was very wet because of the rain,” midfielder Andres Flores said. “The thing is that we’re not used to that field yet. So we need more time to get used to it and to work on that.”
The soccer field at MCU is artificial turf that is placed over the baseball field. Translated: no infield and no baseball lines.
“It has good things and bad things,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said after last month’s 1-1 home draw with Jacksonville Armada FC. “It’s a soft field which is better for the players in regard to not being so much of an impact. So their backs, their knees feel a lot better.
“But when it rains, it’s very difficult because it’s very slippery. Sometimes you cannot stop. So you can see the players sometimes having trouble changing direction. Some advantages, some disadvantages. But that’s the field we have. It looked pretty good from the outside because it’s on a baseball field.”
The Cosmos practice at the Mitchel Athletic Complex and have not had enough time to train in Coney Island.
“We could have wanted to have more time here on this field, but there hasn’t been an opportunity for us to do it,” Flores said. “But I can’t excuse ourselves on that. We have to win the games and we have to find a way to do it.”
New York, the two-time defending NASL champions, is 0-1-1 at home this season.