Poor field conditions that forced the cancellation of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s exhibition Sunday in Honolulu should not be a factor for the upcoming match against China in New Orleans, according to Mercedes-Benz Superdome General Manager Alan Freeman.
“We’re comfortable and ready to do what needs to be done,” Freeman said. “The folks from U.S. Soccer have made two site visits, and they have expressed no concerns about our turf.
“But we’re prepared to do whatever they ask us to do.”
More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the Dec. 16 match that marks the end of the national team’s Victory Tour.
Sunday’s match against Trinidad & Tobago at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu was canceled after team members said they would not play because of the condition of the stadium’s artificial turf field.
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during a practice session Friday on a grass practice field.
The players have had previous complaints about the conditions of the fields they play on compared to those for men’s matches. U.S. Soccer tested the Aloha Stadium turf Saturday before canceling the match.
Freeman said the Superdome turf, which is replaced every year, will be repainted after Saturday’s high school football state championship games.
The team will hold an open practice on the night before the match against China.
The field will be relined that weekend for the Dec. 19 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Stadium signage will be changed again for the Saints’ Monday night game against Detroit two days later.
The U.S. team will play Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday in San Antonio, and China next Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.