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MLS in February? Just look at Champions League in Russia

17 February 6:00 pm

MLS in February? Just look at Champions League in Russia

By Greg Lalas

Brrr...

The images of freezing players in Wednesday's Zenit St. Petersburg-Benfica Champions League match would make anyone shiver.

It should also give even the biggest "European-calendar" zealot some pause. For one thing, the temperature was 14 degrees Fahrenheit at kick off.  For another, the field at Petrovsky Stadium was a disaster.

Maybe it all gave the Russians a home-field advantage. After all, they pulled off a 3-2 win, thanks to two goals from Roman Shirakov.

But even the Zenit hero himself came out and complained. “Should we play in such freezing cold? I don’t think so,” Shirakov said after the match. “The ball feels like a rock. You could easily break a leg.”

Break a leg? Not good.

The reality is, a game like this is not fun for anyone -- not for the coaches, not for the players, and certainly not for the fans. The conditions aren't that far off from those in, say, Toronto or New England on any given Saturday night in February. Though there would probably be more snow.

So, the question is: Would you really want to go watch games in 17-degree weather? And you, MLS player, would you want to play on that field and kick a "rock"?

Yeah, didn't think so. Neither would I.

RELATED: February in Russia: So What Did You Expect? (NYTimes.com)