That is the nicest thing I can say about the decision to postpone the Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps match today. Here is the official communication from MLS:
NEW YORK (July 16, 2011) - The Vancouver Whitecaps FC versus Real Salt Lake match scheduled for today has been postponed after Major League Soccer and local club officials ruled the pitch at Empire Field unplayable.
The match will be rescheduled in the near future
I call bullshit on it. The reality is that Vancouver and MLS scheduled a friendly with Manchester City for Monday, and since no EPL team wants to play on the crappy field turf surface they decided they needed to bring in a grass surface for the match. It was installed incorrectly and as a result they fear that playing on it today will damage the surface so much that they won't be able to play their friendly match on Monday.
In checking the NOAA website their radar says less than 1/4 of an inch of rain in the last hour in Vancouver, and fans there say it is raining but not hard enough to cancel a match. I have heard from some unconfirmed sources that the real issue is that the install of the grass surface over the field turf was done incorrectly, and not the weather conditions.
In my opinion I would have to believe since the decision to install grass with just a couple days before a match is grounds for Vancouver to have to forfeit this match. It was their choice to book a friendly match for less than 72 hours after a league match, it was their choice of vendors to install the grass surface, and it sounds like it was their choice to "postpone" the match so they would be able to work on the surface for Monday's friendly match.
Each time a team travels there are expenses and time involved and to put a MLS match on the back burner for a friendly is really a poor decision by MLS and the Whitecaps. There are a number of RSL fans who traveled for this match, spending thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, tickets and more, I think MLS and the Whitecaps should offer up some very nice compensation for them, or if not those fans should sue the league and the Whitecaps. This match wasn't cancelled because of the weather, the Whitecaps and other teams have played in far worse conditions than this, it was cancelled because some boob at SUM (the MLS marketing arm) and in the Whitecaps front office thought it would be great to bring Manchester City to town and now they don't want to risk that match which is scheduled to be on ESPN2.
It is this mentality that leads fans back to #TrophiesNotFriendlies it is stuff like this that makes the league look like a joke. Sorry this is a match that the Whitecaps organization need to forfeit and that MLS needs to make compensation to the fans of both teams for their inability to plan and run a league with the required level of competence.
OFF MY SOAPBOX #WhitecapSuck