CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy kickstarted their preparations for this Saturday’s clash with Vancouver Whitecaps FC by changing their normal training patterns moving their morning session to StubHub Center’s Turf Field to get a feel for what they’ll experience at BC Place.
The turf surface at BC Place has caused the Galaxy issues in the past as LA captain Robbie Keane blasted the surface comparing it to “concrete” following the team’s 1-0 victory up in Canada last August. Although Keane had his critique of the conditions, the Polytan field turf currently carries a two star rating from FIFA which is the highest synthetic turf rating that the organization bestows.
LA has earned mixed results in their three matches at BC Place with a 1-1-1 record at the Downtown Vancouver facility. As they look to prepare for Saturday’s match against Vancouver, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admitted that it was important for his players to get a feel for the surface.
“It was giving the guys a little muscle memory for these surfaces and get a feel for it,” said Arena. “We won’t be on this [surface] again this week, but it’s just an idea to get them thinking about it a little bit.”
Practicing on the StubHub Center turf field has its advantages as it allows for the players to become familiar with the manner in which the ball moves on the surface. The springy nature of the turf field often causes havoc for both teams as the ball will take odd hops and bounces while also failing to stick to the ground as it does on a grass surface.
“The objective today was simply to manage the way that the ball moves on turf,” said right back Dan Gargan. “The idea is to come out and move the ball around in order to work on your technique. It helps us get acclimated to a different surface for the weekend.”
With a day’s training on turf under their belt, the Galaxy believe that they’ll be better suited to handle the conditions
“It’s very important to train here on this field because the ball will roll and bounce very differently on an artificial field and it can cause us problems,” said Penedo. “Artificial surfaces cause a variety of complications, but we will need to deal with them rapidly in the first five minutes of the game.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com