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  1. #1
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    Further to my comments in yesterday’s news section, I had two opportunities to speak with Darren Huckerby last weekend.

    At the Soccer Silicon Valley banquet Friday night, several quakes players attended, as well as Todd Dunivant, a former quakes player. Todd’s brother had been man of the year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2004, while Todd played there. Since then, Todd has been heavily involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and presented them with a cheque at the banquet. The San Jose fans had a lot of good to say about Todd.

    Joe Cannon got their sportsman of the year award, named in memory of a local boy. The family did the presentation.

    At the banquet, they had a silent auction with mostly quakes stuff, but they had a few jerseys from other teams, all autographed. I bought the TFC jersey (#12 Dunivant autographed by the full team), the Chivas jersey sold, as did a Beckham autographed jersey (for less than the TFC jersey, I might add). There was a Gutierrez white Chicago, Casey maroon Colorado and a Houston De Ro, all of which had no bids. Met the quakes photographer and he had some outstanding shots. I suggested he take a look at some of Martin Groove’s shots on flickr – his shots are also on flickr.

    I ran into Huckerby for a second as he was leaving and mentioned to him that I thought he played well for San Jose, but thought he’d look better in Toronto red. No comment from him, just a sneer. During the night, some of his teammates kidded him about his tanning salon tan while at the mike.

    At the game on Saturday, mlsintoronto mentioned that Huckerby won’t practice with the San Jose team – they practice on a turf pitch right next to the main pitch. Made me wonder about Ronnie O’s practice habits, though.

    Small venue, sold out, pretty good atmosphere, but they only have six or seven chants, mostly takeoffs of the same ones used around the league. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the pitch – the grass was okay but not pristine, the way the pitch in Charleston looked back in the spring. Probably because of the drier climate. Their fans were extremely friendly and accommodating – I can’t say enough good about Don Gagliardi, president of SSV!

    A few nights later, I ran into him again while waiting to go into the Sharks/Penguins game. There we spoke for about 5-10 minutes while waiting for the doors to open. Nobody else appeared to recognize him at the rink. I thanked him for coming to MLS, and asked him about whether he thought more players would be coming over from England, and he mentioned that he had confirmation that afternoon of three more, including Freddie Ljungberg having signed that afternoon with Seattle. I asked him about his thoughts about Toronto and he said that we have first rate fans, top notch facilities, as good as any he had seen, but the worst turf in the world. He said that it was pretty much lifeless, flat, bland and hard to play on. I never thought to ask him about where there might be better turf. He also said it is very difficult to turn down the weather in San Jose.

    I also asked about comparisons of MLS to English leagues. He said it is difficult to compare because the style of play is very different here. He thought that a top quality MLS team, like Houston, would be competitive in the Championship, but most teams would be about League One caliber.

    He was a very polite, classy guy and answered my questions easily. I tried not to impose upon him – he was there with two others, but they seemed interested in the questions I was asking as well. I wished him the best as he headed in to see his first hockey game.

    This was a great trip, and I highly recommend it as a destination for a road trip in the future!
    Last edited by CoachGT; 10-31-2008 at 08:21 AM.

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    Very interesting, thanks for the report.
    No one likes us, we don't care.
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    i hope san jose gets hit by an earthquake hows that for weather you cunt
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    I had my first King Dave experience[...]was blowing in my mouth all game.

    I loved it, it tasted like Canada!

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    thanks for the report....("could not pass up the san jose weather)he will only be good for another year then he can retire in cali with that other fuck o brian....

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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie View Post
    thanks for the report....("could not pass up the san jose weather)he will only be good for another year then he can retire in cali with that other fuck o brian....
    Can we really be pissed at this guy? I mean, O'brian, sure, dude wanted out of Toronto, but Huckerby just accepted another offer (and mostly because of something we also hate). So really, though I wish he had come here, I can't hold it against him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachGT View Post
    I asked him about his thoughts about Toronto and he said that we have first rate fans, top notch facilities, as good as any he had seen, but the worst turf in the world. He said that it was pretty much lifeless, flat, bland and hard to play on. I never thought to ask him about where there might be better turf.
    We have the top of the line turf, the problem is that is getting packed down (or worn out, not sure which) from such heavy usage.

    New England have the same turf as we do, and I've heard several players mention that it plays way better than ours does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachGT View Post
    Further to my comments in yesterday’s news section, I had two opportunities to speak with Darren Huckerby last weekend.

    At the Soccer Silicon Valley banquet Friday night, several quakes players attended, as well as Todd Dunivant, a former quakes player. Todd’s brother had been man of the year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2004, while Todd played there. Since then, Todd has been heavily involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and presented them with a cheque at the banquet. The San Jose fans had a lot of good to say about Todd.

    Joe Cannon got their sportsman of the year award, named in memory of a local boy. The family did the presentation.

    At the banquet, they had a silent auction with mostly quakes stuff, but they had a few jerseys from other teams, all autographed. I bought the TFC jersey (#12 Dunivant autographed by the full team), the Chivas jersey sold, as did a Beckham autographed jersey (for less than the TFC jersey, I might add). There was a Gutierrez white Chicago, Casey maroon Colorado and a Houston De Ro, all of which had no bids. Met the quakes photographer and he had some outstanding shots. I suggested he take a look at some of Martin Groove’s shots on flickr – his shots are also on flickr.

    I ran into Huckerby for a second as he was leaving and mentioned to him that I thought he played well for San Jose, but thought he’d look better in Toronto red. No comment from him, just a sneer. During the night, some of his teammates kidded him about his tanning salon tan while at the mike.

    At the game on Saturday, mlsintoronto mentioned that Huckerby won’t practice with the San Jose team – they practice on a turf pitch right next to the main pitch. Made me wonder about Ronnie O’s practice habits, though.

    Small venue, sold out, pretty good atmosphere, but they only have six or seven chants, mostly takeoffs of the same ones used around the league. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the pitch – the grass was okay but not pristine, the way the pitch in Charleston looked back in the spring. Probably because of the drier climate. Their fans were extremely friendly and accommodating – I can’t say enough good about Don Gagliardi, president of SSV!

    A few nights later, I ran into him again while waiting to go into the Sharks/Penguins game. There we spoke for about 5-10 minutes while waiting for the doors to open. Nobody else appeared to recognize him at the rink. I thanked him for coming to MLS, and asked him about whether he thought more players would be coming over from England, and he mentioned that he had confirmation that afternoon of three more, including Freddie Ljungberg having signed that afternoon with Seattle. I asked him about his thoughts about Toronto and he said that we have first rate fans, top notch facilities, as good as any he had seen, but the worst turf in the world. He said that it was pretty much lifeless, flat, bland and hard to play on. I never thought to ask him about where there might be better turf. He also said it is very difficult to turn down the weather in San Jose.

    I also asked about comparisons of MLS to English leagues. He said it is difficult to compare because the style of play is very different here. He thought that a top quality MLS team, like Houston, would be competitive in the Championship, but most teams would be about League One caliber.

    He was a very polite, classy guy and answered my questions easily. I tried not to impose upon him – he was there with two others, but they seemed interested in the questions I was asking as well. I wished him the best as he headed in to see his first hockey game.

    This was a great trip, and I highly recommend it as a destination for a road trip in the future!

    It was a fantastic time, but we sorta fell apart after that first goal. Which sucked, but hey...

    Still, I wish I was there Gary, Huckercrap exploding would've been quite the sight to see!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad View Post
    We have the top of the line turf, the problem is that is getting packed down (or worn out, not sure which) from such heavy usage.

    New England have the same turf as we do, and I've heard several players mention that it plays way better than ours does.
    I had an online chat with some New England supporters about this issue earlier this year.

    I did point out that we had the same surface, FieldTurf 2 Star soccer length etc but they felt that the New England turf had a higher pile and as you say, ours was flat and worn out.

    A friend of mine who has played at Lamport and BMO recently said that Lamport, even with its cheaper version of artificial grass, is a much better surface on which to play!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad View Post
    We have the top of the line turf, the problem is that is getting packed down (or worn out, not sure which) from such heavy usage.

    New England have the same turf as we do, and I've heard several players mention that it plays way better than ours does.
    Really?

    Everyone I've talked to that knows their stuff regarding artificial turf rates ours at 2 out of 5, one step above astro-turf. Apparently even Varsity has nicer turf than BMO. Someone even mentioned to me that there was a bit of funny business going on with FIFA and Field Turf because on the technical merits BMO should have failed certification.

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    Played on BMO last weekend and played on a new gen turf here in Cambridge today. BMO is shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambridge_Red View Post
    Played on BMO last weekend and played on a new gen turf here in Cambridge today. BMO is shit.
    The turf in Hershey Centre is better as well.

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    " At the game on Saturday, mlsintoronto mentioned that Huckerby won’t practice with the San Jose team – they practice on a turf pitch right next to the main pitch. Made me wonder about Ronnie O’s practice habits, though."


    I'll say this about Huckerby he sound like a nice guy but I'm happy with did not get him signed he is not the player that holds that team togethere that role goes to Ronnie O’s. But i think that is becuse that Ronnie O’s has been in the mls longer

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachGT View Post
    ...but the worst turf in the world. He said that it was pretty much lifeless, flat, bland and hard to play on. I never thought to ask him about where there might be better turf.
    Sorry Huckerby, but I've scored two goals on that pitch and there's f**k all wrong with it!
    Last edited by Across_The_Pond; 11-02-2008 at 04:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambridge_Red View Post
    Played on BMO last weekend and played on a new gen turf here in Cambridge today. BMO is shit.
    What kind of turf in Cambridge exactly?

    There are many different kinds. Just Curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profit89 View Post
    What kind of turf in Cambridge exactly?

    There are many different kinds. Just Curious.
    mmm I think they're using something called Proplay Turf (Not 100%). The blades are alot thinner than BMO and it's alot more forgiving on the legs. Im guessing there's alot of support under the surface.

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    Really? The turf at Gillette Field is rated higher by players than ours? The same pitch in which 300 pound guys practice regularly with additional 100 pounds of equipment? Wow ... BMO Field might want to invest in a better grounds crew or something.

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    The city is going to quickly learn that FieldTurf is not this invincible surface that you can use 24/7 year round without showing any wear. Just being fake doesn't mean it won't quickly deteriorate from overuse. I'd say there will have to be a major decision made by the end of next year at the latest because the turf will have to replaced with a new surface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canary Canuck View Post
    The city is going to quickly learn that FieldTurf is not this invincible surface that you can use 24/7 year round without showing any wear. Just being fake doesn't mean it won't quickly deteriorate from overuse. I'd say there will have to be a major decision made by the end of next year at the latest because the turf will have to replaced with a new surface.
    That's exactly right. It still needs to be taken care of and maintained, perhaps not to the same degree as a natural grass surface.

    I'm all for an artificial surface. I think there are so many advantages to it that it should be the turf of choice given our climate etc.

    That said, we should be looking at getting the best type of artificial surface. The technology with respect to turf is constantly improving. BMO's surface is beat up now and just looks and plays wrong.

    Going with a natural surface is an option too I suppose. But if it's going to be anything like the nightmare that is Saputo Stadium, no thank you. I would rather play on concrete. I hate chewed up, soggy, torn up pitches. Awful, just awful.

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    great read, good write up


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    I thought this stuff has to be raked and maintained, keeping it consistent and not getting too impacted.

    <going to be a long off season>

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    I've played at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga and found that turf better than the stuff at BMO, which is sad. Can't say I blame the guy. If he wants to extend his career after his injuries, these things HAVE to be a consideration for him. Wouldn't any of us do the same? What does he owe Toronto?

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    The new turf field at Queens university is the nicest turf I've ever played on, and I've played significant minutes at UCC's main field, BMO field, and Lamport and I don't think they're even comparable.

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    TFC OZZ: You a Q's student, or...?

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    I've played on BMO a couple of weeks ago. I dunno if its compaction or what but the feild is almost like concrete covered in carpet

 

 

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