This weekend in Houston was bittersweet in many ways as we hosted the NCAA Men’s College Cup.
One thing has surely been learned, if not learned the last few years when outside of Cary, NC, these matches have been played in front of crickets. The playing surface was not up to an NCAA National Championship level and affected the way the game was played by all involved.
This is fact and is not the reward these teams and coaches deserve when reaching the pinnacle of the college game. In a positive way, media around the country saw this and wrote about it and has brought the problem to light.
Wake Forest coach Bobby Muuss was livid about the field conditions after Sunday’s NCAA title game. pic.twitter.com/oGaZ65JNgB
— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) December 11, 2016
Wake Forest Coach Bobby Muuss also had strong comments on behalf of the college game. Coaches made statements about the surface.
The word is 11,000 tickets were sold but many chose not to show up for a variety of reasons. The atmosphere was better than the empty stadium at Sporting KC.
MLS teams do not have enough “skin in the game” and should not be hosting. Yes the stadiums are great, in this case the surface was not.
The model of hosting this must change and here are two solutions:
1.) CARY,NC /Santa Barbara
If the political situation gets figured out just make Cary, NC the standard site year after year or do it in Santa Barbara. They have always gotten enough attendance and the likelihood of ACC teams involved and providing traveling support is always there.
Baseball does it in Omaha, Nebraska and it has become a destination.
2.) HIGHER SEED
You can also consider having the higher seed host the national championship game and abandon the College Cup weekend. Of course some of this would be solved if College soccer moves to two semesters.