U.S. Women’s Soccer team cancels game in Hawaii

Women's Soccer team cancels game in Hawaii

U.S. Soccer has cancelled the U.S. Women’s National Team Victory Tour match scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 6, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, after a determination that the artificial turf surface is not suitable to hold an international soccer match.

“We extend our sincere apologies to those fans who were scheduled to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team match in Hawaii,” U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said in a release. “Player safety is our number one priority at all times and after a thorough inspection throughout the day, we determined it was in the best interest for both teams to not play the match. We regret not being able to play in front of our fantastic, loyal fans.”

Aloha Stadium is the home of University of Hawaii football and the annual Hawaii Bowl and the regular site for the NFL’s Pro Bowl, but its playing surface drew the ire of the U.S. women during a walk-through Saturday.

A Fox Sports report said coach Jill Ellis “could not contain her outrage” about the facility, and star forward Alex Morgan didn’t bother to try.

“The training grounds that we were given and the playing surface of the stadium were horrible,” Morgan said. “I think it’s hard because no one’s really going to protect us but ourselves. So we’re put in a very hard position because obviously we want to play in front of these fans and we want to train before the game but injuries happen when you don’t protect yourself and when you’re not protected from those higher up from you.”

The wisdom of playing on artificial turf was a major talking point heading into last summer’s Women’s World Cup in Canada. U.S. players were particularly vocal in their criticism of FIFA for its insistence on playing the entire event on turf.

Sportact Editors and Wire Services