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The Gold Cup semifinal surface in a word: terrible

Jul 23, 2013, 6:28 PM EDT

Cowboys Stadium

ARLINGTON, Texas – You can spend a billion dollars on a stadium, but you cannot buy your way around Mother Nature.

The field outside Dallas, where the United States will play its Gold Cup semifinal Wednesday against Honduras, is terrible.

Not that this should surprise anyone. The surface has always splotchy at very best when games have been staged here previously at Cowboys Stadium outside of Dallas. (A place referred to locally as the Death Star; I mean, you’ve seen it, right?)

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spent $1 billion on the facility, which should be sold out for a Wednesday Gold Cup doubleheader that includes Mexico. But lack of natural sunlight and circulating air means grass just doesn’t grow here.

So while the temporary surface put down over artificial turf in Baltimore for Sunday’s quarterfinal was imperfect but passable, this one is full of seams, bumpy, hard and too small.

Let’s hope nobody gets hurt and that the game isn’t impacted too badly. And let’s especially hope no one hurts themselves badly in corners areas that are way, way too close to the retaining walls.

One more time: domestic soccer should be past this. There are enough stadiums around, facilities of all kinds of size, that have lovely natural grass fields.

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