The USA women’s soccer friendly with Trinidad and Tobago at Aloha Stadium has been canceled, according to the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“We are extremely disappointed that this event will not take place at Aloha Stadium,” said Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan in a statement. “U.S. Soccer officials informed us that this game will not be played at approximately nine (Saturday night). We feel the people of Hawaii deserve to see an international soccer match of this caliber, however, we were unable to reach an agreement with U.S. Soccer to allow this event to happen.”
The soccer match was scheduled for 3 p.m. today at the stadium, but has been called off because of poor field conditions — particularly in the bench area where the two football teams stand during the game.
The women’s team members have complained about playing on synthetic surfaces in recent months, and this was the last straw, one source confirmed. The men usually play on grass fields and the women have said they want the same treatment. Risk of injury is always a concern on surfaces similar to that of Aloha Stadium.
The defending Women’s World Cup champions practiced Saturday in front of 3,000 fans and complained that the field was too dangerous. It wasn’t just about the turf, either.
“My concern is that (the venue) is very narrow,” said head coach Jill Ellis before the training session. “I think it’s 66 yards wide. So, when you play in a tight space, obviously there’s more contact.”
Some team members went to Twitter to voice their concerns.
— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) December 6, 2015
“Very disappointed with the surface, to be honest,” said midfielder Carli Lloyd. “I think coming to Hawaii is great and it’s great to be able to play here. But you take a look at the field, it’s just not good enough … You look at a surface like this, you just worry that people are going to get injured and something’s going to happen.”
There were rumors all day that the team would possibly pull out of the competition and that’s what eventually happened. They are scheduled to play Trinidad and Tobago in another friendly match on Dec. 10 in San Antonio.
“We extend our sincere apologies to those fans who were scheduled to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team match in Hawaii,” said U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe. “Player safety is our number one priority at all times and after a thorough inspection throughout the day, we determined it was in the best interest for both teams to not play the match. We regret not being able to play in front of our fantastic, loyal fans.”
All ticket buyers will be fully refunded according to a statement released by the U.S. Soccer Federation. “All internet and phone orders will be automatically refunded with a confirmation sent via email. Fans that purchased at Ticketmaster ticket centers will need to return their tickets to the location where purchased in order to obtain a refund. Those who purchased at Aloha Stadium will need to return to the venue ticket office open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
The release added “… Those who bought directly through U.S. Soccer will be refunded by U.S. Soccer. Fans with questions about their refund can contact their respective place of purchase directly: Ticketmaster Fan Support at 800-653-8000, Aloha Stadium at (808) 483-2500 or U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”