Julie Foudy, ESPN, November 13, 2014


In my first true full season on turf at Boston, I completely ruined my leg. So it's not even an argument. Everyone knows the raspberries you get by playing on turf. And the injuries. Thierry Henry won't even travel to Seattle [to play the Sounders] in the regular season because he doesn't play on turf. Some of the best players in the world refuse to play on turf. Look, I would play on dry Arizona grass in the heat of the summer before I would play on turf. Every time.

There is a huge difference. I learned while playing on the turf in Boston there are certain tackles I am just not going to go into. Besides scoring goals, one of my favorite things is I love to absolutely crush an outside back when they are about to hit a long ball. I don't do those anymore. It's not worth not being able to shower for three days [because water stings turf burns]. I am not saying you don't get beaten up on grass. The sport we play is physical, but when going into a tackle, you are not supposed to be thinking, "Crap, this is going to hurt, and [it's] probably not worth it." Turf does that to you. It takes away from how I play and we play soccer. And the back problems. My back is the worst it has ever felt this season as I felt like I was running on concrete every day [playing on turf all season for the NWSL's Seattle Reign].

The ball bounces differently. Faster. You can't just play a ball over the top and know it will die and fall at a player's feet. The way you strike the ball is different. You can't chip a ball the same on turf and you can't get under the ball the same way. I feel like it is a completely different game. It's as if you are on a basketball court. Then other times, the ball catches on rubber and checks back. You just don't know what to expect. Usually as a forward I can tell if the ball is going to die or go fast. But on turf, you don't know, you have no idea.

I really feel it is an equality issue. Do you think the men in Brazil this summer would have said yes, we are fine playing on turf? No way in hell that would happen with men. It's really sad women have to be guinea pigs for this. Once every four years it is a dream to play in the World Cup. And to have to think, OK, we have the potential for seven games at the World Cup. The first couple games, I have to be careful and take care of my body because you saw my leg.