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Latif Blessing On Turf: "I Don’t Like Playing On Turf Because You Get A Lot Of Injuries"
"But to play on the turf, I don’t want to play on turf, but I’m used to it and we have to play. I think playing on turf or playing on natural grass, I feel like natural grass is good."
After Dylan Borrero’s injury, the topic of playing on turf versus playing on natural grass has been debated by New England Revolution fans, and members of the organization weighed in.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, midfielder Latif Blessing expressed that he prefers playing on natural grass but that he has grown acclimated to playing on turf.
“I don’t like playing on turf because you get a lot of injuries,” Blessing said. “So, I think I feel bad for him [Dylan Borrero] because when I came back, I saw him and was talking to him, we laughed, so when I saw him injured I felt so sad for him. But to play on the turf, I don’t want to play on turf, but I’m used to it and we have to play. I think playing on turf or playing on natural grass, I feel like natural grass is good. Turf, you get injured a lot. I’m sad for him but you have to keep your head down and keep going.”
While Blessing gave his opinion, Bruce Arena opted to not go into detail during his media availability about the different playing surfaces but did say that turf wasn’t the reason that Borrero got hurt.
“That injury has nothing to do with turf,” he said.
New England will be without Borrero for the rest of the 2023 season according to Arena. It is a brutal blow for both the team and Borrero.
The Colombian was having a quality start to the season and tallied two goals along with an assist already this season. He was a threat on the wing and his attacking prowess will be missed by the Revolution.
Besides knowing that Borrero will miss the rest of the season, there was no detail into the specific injury that occurred but the head coach and sporting director did share some details when appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“There’s a lot of damage in his knee, the ligaments, the cartilage, all of that,” Arena said. “We’re fortunate to have good doctors here. I think surgery will go well. He’s going to have to work hard to get back on the field. I’m confident that he’ll do that. He’s 21 years old so there’s no reason to believe that he can’t overcome this injury and be the player that he’s been.”
Arena was asked again about turf and if it contributed to the injury and he believes that no matter the playing surface the injury would have occurred.
“I don’t think so because this injury, he jumped out of the way of a tackle and he came down on his heel and then twisted inside,” Arena said. It could have been the same thing on grass.
“All the years I’ve been here, that’s the first injury that I’ve seen, as a starting point, and very rarely do we have injuries in Gillette Stadium. I can’t attribute the injury to turf but you never know. Maybe this same thing happens on grass, maybe not, but that’s my take on this whole thing.”
(Editor’s Note: Moments before pressing send the Revolution announced that Borrero will officially miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. By being placed on the SEL, a U-22 spot is opened along with an international roster spot.)