The Women’s World Cup Champion Team co-captain has partnered with RISE to raise awareness about turf. In short, Abby Wambach wants real grass.

In this video from FOX-4 Kansas City, Abby shared her preference to play on real grass vs. artificial turf along with the pros and cons of both. Wambach says she thinks there would have been more goals scored and overall “better soccer” played if the 2015 Women’s World Cup would have been played on real grass.

Wambach told Lawn & Landscape magazine. “There is nothing better than playing the sport I love on a real grass field. The ball moves quickly and I’m required to react fast and with precision. Real, well-maintained grass helps me anticipate the ball’s movement and feel better about going all-out.”

“Soccer is a great foundational sport, and I want kids to someday be able to experience everything I have,” said Wambach. “That all starts with a natural, healthy playing field.”

“The benefits of real turf playing surfaces bring to life the importance of healthy grass in all the places we live and play, which gives us the opportunity to show the value of products used to maintain healthy turf,” said Karen Reardon, vice president of public affairs for RISE. “Abby’s media interviews and the content shared through social media highlight her professional athlete’s perspective, though the benefits she describes are well known to athletes, parents and communities across the country.”

Wambach told athletes and parents to think about the following elements before stepping on a playing field:

1. Natural turf is the optimal playing surface: Natural turf provides athletes with an optimal playing surface – real grass. Practice and competition on natural grass creates softer, and up to 40 degrees cooler, fields with less risk of knee and ankle injuries and skin abrasions.

2. Turf care is an integrated game plan: The best playing fields showcase the results of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to managing weeds, insects and diseases that harm grass. Well maintained grass offers thick, reliable play; otherwise, grass can become patchy with weeds or dirt, creating tripping and other hazards.

3. Groundskeepers need a complete toolbox: Professional groundskeepers and sports turf managers need access to effective pesticide and fertilizer products that help keep grass healthy. Turf managers use these products judiciously to solve or prevent specific problems.

4. Natural turf is personal: Natural grass fields vary with region, soil type, weather patterns, field use and more. The approach for all fields should be specific to those conditions to keep the field in great playing shape. With proper maintenance, natural grass fields do not have a fixed life and can be used for more than 20 years without replacement.

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