- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. women’s soccer team isn’t playing in Hawaii as planned after a match with Trinidad and Tobago was canceled over poor field conditions.

The Women’s World Cup champions practiced in front of 3,000 people the day before the match set for Sunday at Aloha Stadium. They said the turf field was dangerous and head coach Jill Ellis said the pitch was tight, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1OIoWGY).

“My concern is that (the venue) is very narrow,” she said before the practice. “I think it’s 66 yards wide. So, when you play in a tight space, obviously there’s more contact.”

Midfielder Carli Lloyd said she worried about potential injuries. She said the defending Women’s World Cup champions are playing most victory tour games on turf and it’s not good enough.

“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.”

Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan said in a statement that an agreement with U.S. Soccer could not be reached.

“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.”

Ticket purchasers will be eligible for refunds.

The teams will play a friendly match Dec. 10 in San Antonio.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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