Sporting KC

New turf leads to choppy play in Houston-Sporting match

Tough turf

It’s one thing for the teams to play on tired legs. Sporting KC and Houston had piled up games lately; this was the Dynamo’s fourth game in nine days and Sporting’s fifth in 17. It made for choppy play Saturday.

So did the patches of newly planted turf at BBVA Compass Stadium.

“What was happening was a lot of the grass was popping up,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “It was a little tough to play on, to keep the ball moving. Both teams were a little safer with balls around their box.”

Defender Matt Besler said safety was the first option.

“It was also hard, so you could see the ball bouncing a lot,” Besler said. “You couldn’t take any chances. You had to go through the ball cleanly.”

• Now the teams get two weeks of rest before meeting Nov. 23 at Sporting Park. Both teams needed it after Houston played in New Jersey and Sporting won at home on Wednesday, both in extra time.

But two weeks?

“Maybe that’s too long,” Vermes said. “We’ll have to manage it. A lot of guys have to get rest and healthy.”