Match on turf could benefit Crew's high-octane attack

Surface could help Bliss' "get to goal quicker" approach

Brian Bliss

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USA Today Sports Images

Love it or hate it, the switch from a natural grass surface to artificial turf can have its impact on a team's style of play. To prepare for his side's trip to Gillette Stadium this weekend, Brian Bliss conducted Thursday's training session on the turf surface at Ohio Dominican University ahead of Saturday's match (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio channel info).

Bliss pointed out the several differences in playing on turf following the session.

"The way the ball comes off the turf when you're receiving it is a little bouncier," the Interim Head Coach explained. "Also when you're making a pass that needs to be in the air, balls we say are 'clipped,' to chip underneath the ball is a difficult task [on turf]. That said, I think our guys did well playing on turf today for the first time in six or seven months."

When he took over coaching duties in September, Bliss made it a point for the Crew to "get to goal quicker." Keeping the ball on the ground, the Black & Gold's fast-paced attack could benefit from a smooth, artificial surface on Saturday.

"It's a good clean surface in terms of the way the ball runs on it," Bliss explained. "It runs a little quicker, so maybe that is a little bit to our advantage."

"It's obviously not ideal, but the ball moves a little bit faster and that could maybe help us," rookie forward Ryan Finley said. "Ever since Bliss has taken over, we've possessed the ball a little bit more and I think [the turf] could help us.

"Obviously, [the Revolution] has played on turf a lot more, but it's still just a ball and 11 players out there. We're up for the challenge."