Future MLS Cup Finals Need To Be Held In Warm-Weather Climates
The 2013 MLS Cup Final was held this past Saturday, and boy was it a great match. Two of the model franchises in Major League Soccer battled for 120 minutes to a 1-1 draw which forced a penalty shootout for the ages.
Lovel Palmer of Real Salt Lake hit the crossbar in the 10th round of the shootout which clinched the trophy for hosts Sporting Kansas City after a 7-6 shootout win in a match that will be talked about for years for both the good and bad of it.
The biggest takeaway from that match was the weather which was a brisk 20 degrees at the 3 p.m. local time kickoff and continued to dip as the night wore on. This weather along with the failed underground heating system caused one half of the field to be completely frozen making the players look like they were ice skating on the normally pristine pitch.
This pitch claimed Sporting midfielder Oriol Rosell to a sprained ankle early in the match causing him to be subbed off after only eight minutes of action, the earliest substitution in MLS Cup Final history.
The freezing weather should not be a factor in any sort of Championship final. The National Football League is dealing with this issue right now as the upcoming Super Bowl is scheduled to be played at MetLife Stadium in Northern New Jersey this coming February. The long-range weather forecast is calling for snow, freezing rain and heavy wind which will surely make the in-game experience very miserable to those who spend the thousands of dollars for a seat.
If the final is going to continue to be played as late as it is during the calendar year then it needs to be at a warm-weather venue that is determined before the season starts. The switch to this would shut out most of the country from ever being able to see the match contested in their home park, but the reward of watching the Championship be decided on a pristine pitch is well worth it.
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