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FIFA-certified turf

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The Marshall University soccer program recently became one of only 25 FIFA-certified fields in the U.S., receiving the FIFA 1-Star Certification for its new AstroTurf field at Veteran's Memorial Soccer Complex.

Marshall will be the second NCAA Division I soccer program in the country to play its home games at a soccer-specific stadium with a FIFA recommended pitch.

The nearly 115,000-square foot field was completed in July last year by Sports Construction Management. The synthetic turf system is made up of tufts of monofilament and trademarked fibers with a sand and rubber infill.

Both players and coaches think the field will give them quite the home-field advantage.

"The turf plays beautiful and without a doubt is the nicest turf I have ever been on," said Men's Head Soccer Coach Bob Gray. "The bounce and the role of the ball is like playing on a well-manicured grass field and the fact that we train on it every day is a real luxury for our team.

"The people at AstroTurf have been great to work with, and I believe their product will have a huge impact on the soccer industry."

Veteran's Memorial Soccer Complex is an $8 million facility, which was designed by the same architectural team that designed FedEx Forum and the renovation of Lambeau Field. The complex was built on the grounds of the former Veteran's Memorial Fieldhouse.

"The new turf on our soccer facility is first-class," said Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick. "AstroTurf has an international reputation for producing some of the highest-quality turf in the business.

"Their efforts helped make our facility one of the finest in the nation and, for that, I am extremely grateful."