NEW YORK — The Vancouver Whitecaps FC versus Real Salt Lake match scheduled for 4 p.m. ET today has been postponed after Major League Soccer and local club officials ruled the pitch at Empire Field unplayable.
“After inspecting the field this morning, it was determined that the field would not be suitable for today's game between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Salt Lake,” said Nelson Rodriguez, MLS Executive Vice President of Competition, Technical and Game Operations. “In the interest of protecting the health and safety of our players and match officials, we decided to postpone the game.”
Vancouver Whitecaps CEO Paul Barber explained the situation in an open letter to fans posted on the club's website, saying the team "did everything possible to ensure we could play," including sucking water off the field at regular intervals.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't to be," Barber said. "Too much rain has fallen in a very short space of time."
RSL head coach Jason Kreis said he walked on part of the field before the decision was made, and added that though the much of the surface was tarped over, there was a lot of standing water.
“You do have to take into consideration the health and well-being of the players, so I’d have to say that this was the right call based on the amount of the field I was able to walk on," Kreis said.
The match will be rescheduled in the near future, according the the league.