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New grass being laid at Sporting Park

The beautiful pitch at Sporting Park has not been so lovely lately with huge chunk and strips coming up all over the field.

The pitch was rather chunky at times during the last couple matches
The pitch was rather chunky at times during the last couple matches
Thad Bell

Sporting Park is known for being one of the best stadiums in MLS and compares well with stadiums around the world but one frequent issue has been the playing surface. At its best the field is the best soccer surface in the Midwest but at its worst it the field breaks up in chunks.

Kansas City gets the benefit of all extremes of weather. At the recent US Gold Cup game at Sporting Park, some of the national media complained that the coldest (MLS Cup 2013) and the hottest (the US game) they ever attended were in the same stadium.

Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes acknowledged it was a problem, "the last game it was an issue."

"The unfortunate thing is it's really Mother Nature's fault, " Vermes continued. "The early part of summer was so cool, that the rye grass that was over seeded this spring and would normally die out and the Bermuda, just like this field (the practice field) would have grown in but it never had the chance to do that. We don't over seed this with rye which is the difference why this is so good and over there we are struggling."

So basically the rye grass (cooler weather grass) was expected to die out and give way to the Bermuda (warm weather grass) but because of the cool start to summer it did not go as planned.

Last match saw an army of grounds crew working on the pitch at halftime, keepers staying ready by replacing divots the size of their heads and even Sporting Club President Robb Heineman take to the field to help smooth out the surface.

Houston keeper Joe Willis replacing a divot

Houston keeper Joe Willis replacing a divot

With the added stress of a concert at Sporting Park, something needed to be done so Heineman and crew went in search of new grass. The team found their new sod and began the installation process Monday with is scheduled to be completed today.

Will it be set and ready for Saturday?

"It will," replied Vermes. "It depends on two things. One the thickness of the cut you get and two because the rolls are so wide and long it's hard to move one. Will it be perfect? No, but it will be a lot better than it was."

So in theory, this sod is deeper so it will have a better chance to set quicker and with the width and length of the roll there will be few seams where it could separate easiest.

A view of the work on Monday.