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Soft Power: CF97 players revolt over field conditions

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Toyota Park's field has gone from bad to worse over the course of 2014, and the players have had enough of it

The lighter areas are re-sod where the root structure isn't grown in; those areas are softer and rougher than the rest of the field. Which is tough in front of the goal.
The lighter areas are re-sod where the root structure isn't grown in; those areas are softer and rougher than the rest of the field. Which is tough in front of the goal.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The players' frustration at the increasingly unplayable surface at Toyota Park went public tonight, when rehabbing star Mike Magee weighed in on the choppy, patched turf in a tweet for the ages:

Bakary Soumare, fresh off a crazy night in the Nerf pit, gave Magee's tweet the thumb-up:

Former Fire man Chris Rolfe, in town despite being sidelined with a broken arm, said this:

There was a time that the playing surface at Toyota Park was one of the best in the league - dare we whisper 'best-in-class'?* - good enough that visiting European squads would remark upon it - dense and slick, soft on the knees and very consistent. Those days are long past. This was the Toyota Park pitch this evening before kickoff:

Here's a good look at the field from 2007. It wasn't always this way. The goal nearest the camera has a massive, loose re-sod before it; its lack of root development means that it's chopped up terribly.

Chicago_fire_2007_season_night_game_jpg_medium

If this is how Bridgeview is going to keep the field, then maybe it's time to divert some of that Quaker money from branding-advice deals and make the surface once again one of the best in North America. If there's a deeper story, I'd love to hear it. And, by the sounds of it, the players would, too.

* Legend has it that if you put on a 2014 Chicago Fire home jersey, turn off all the lights, and whisper 'best-in-class' three times into a mirror, that Atul Khosla will appear and offer to rearrange your furniture. Legend ... has it.