AstroTurf partners with soccer leaders to form Soccer Advisory Council

DALTON, GA – AstroTurf, the inventor of synthetic turf and a leading innovator in the industry, has partnered with some of the top leaders in the sport of soccer to launch the AstroTurf Soccer Coaches Advisory Council. As AstroTurf continues its commitment in developing the best possible products for each sport, we felt it was important that we were getting input from those whose expectations for safety, durability, and performance are of the highest priority.

The council will meet to discuss product expectations, challenges, and technological advancements that are coming more and more rapidly in soccer surfacing. We have traveled to fields around the world, consulted doctors who specialize in lower extremity injuries, experts in natural grass, and we have assembled the most experienced and knowledgeable minds in synthetic turf to bring a superb soccer turf system to market.

In adding to our knowledge base, we felt that we should involve some of the most important leaders and stakeholders in the sport. This group will be instrumental in helping AstroTurf achieve its mission of providing its end users with an upper echelon synthetic surface. The AstroTurf Soccer Advisory Council is just one more way that AstroTurf is helping to move the industry and the sport of soccer forward.

“What an amazing group,” said Carl Capella, AstroTurf’s National Manager of Soccer Sales. “This advisory council shows AstroTurf’s commitment to the sport of soccer and providing the best possible playing surface. Soccer continues to grow in popularity and these individuals will provide important input as we continue to work to provide the best playing surface for playability, durability and safety.”

Soccer is the world’s game and continually grows in popularity. At AstroTurf, we are doing our part to facilitate that growth. Using pristine natural grass as the benchmark, we commit significant resources to studying every aspect of a grass fields performance including playability, durability and safety. We use this data and couple it with our turf know how to manufacture the best turf product for soccer.

Further, bolstering our efforts, the SportGroup has allowed us the collaborate with our worldwide partners in the soccer industry. We particularly work closely with our European team members, who enjoy a majority market share of high-end club’s match or training pitches. You can see some of those clients in this brochure. These fields represent the best performing synthetic turf pitches in the world…LigaTurf.

LigaTurf is now offered in the United States exclusively by AstroTurf Corporation and its partners. The latest LigaTurf systems have emerged as the result of the global collaboration of our Research and Development teams around the chemistry, biomechanics, ball roll, and energy restitution to make the beautiful game even more beautiful on LigaTurf.

AstroTurf — It’s one of the most iconic brands in sports.

We ensure that every inch of product meets and exceeds the highest standards of performance, quality and durability. With over 50 years of experience and millions and millions of square feet of synthetic turf in use worldwide, AstroTurf products bring more technological expertise and real-world know-how to the game than any other brand.

AstroTurf continues to build on its golden past as part of SportGroup.

SportGroup is today’s true global sports surfacing giant, with manufacturing facilities around the world. Active in more than 70 countries, SportGroup has installed more than 30,000 turf fields and running tracks. SportGroup was created by selective acquisitions of the leading turf, track, indoor and outdoor sports surface manufacturers.

Jay Vidovich
Jay Vidovich, one of America’s most respected and accomplished soccer coaches, was named the third Pitt men’s soccer head coach at the University of Pittsburgh in December of 2015. Vidovich and the Panthers concluded one of the most memorable seasons in Pitt men’s soccer history in 2020-21, finishing with a school record 16 wins, nine conference victories and a NCAA College Cup appearance, the first the program has seen. The Panthers finished 16-4 (9-1) and clinched the school’s first ever Coastal Division crown with a 5-0 shutout victory at home over Virginia April 8, 2021.

Randy Waldrum
Randy Waldrum enters his third season at the helm of the Pittsburgh women’s soccer program in 2020. He was announced as the fourth head coach in Pitt women’s soccer program history by Director of Athletics Heather Lyke on December 19, 2017. The legendary women’s soccer coach ranks 14th in NCAA history in career head coaching victories (408) while also ranking sixth amongst active head coaches.

Dave Galas
Dave studied mathematics and biology at the University of Oregon and has since worked in software and hardware engineering at the Los Alamos National Labs, UO Neuroscience Labs, and PMC Sierra. He founded Lane United in 2013 seeking to put a team in the vacant Civic Stadium. Dave’s hard work with the Eugene Civic Alliance towards that goal paid off with the opening of Civic Park in 2020. His passion for soccer extends back to his childhood in Europe watching Liverpool FC, St. Etienne, and the Dutch national team. His favorite footballers of all time are Kenny Dalglish and Johan Cruyff.

Jared Embick
Jared Embick, who had previously served as the Zips’ associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, officially became the seventh head coach in the history of The University of Akron men’s soccer program in December of 2012. During Embick’s time at Akron, the Zips have posted the highest winning percentage in the nation with an overall record of 210-53-31 (.767), including a 60-6-5 (.880) mark in MAC play, while securing 11 conference tournament titles, 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and three appearances in the College Cup final.

Frank Yallup
Yallop has spent more than 40 years in professional soccer as a player and coach at all levels of the game. A native of Watford, England, Yallop played for 16 years in his home country with Ipswich Town in the Premier League and EFL Championship, and later in Major League Soccer for the Tampa Bay Mutiny. He was the Head Coach for the San Jose Earthquakes from 2001-2003 where he led the team to two MLS Cup titles. He then spent two years coaching the Canadian National Team before returning to the U.S. in 2006 to coach the LA Galaxy. He continued his tenure in the MLS when in 2008 he returned to San Jose and later at the Chicago Fire from 2013 to 2015. Most recently, Yallop has been integral to the growth of the USL Championship, serving in coaching and leadership positions with the Phoenix Rising FC, Fresno FC and Las Vegas Lights FC.

Josh Keller
A former professional player who made almost 100 appearances in Major League Soccer during his career, Keller has since moved into the sport’s front office, where he has made a significant impact on the growth of the USL off the field. Keller joined the USL in 2017 and has played a key role in securing national partnerships that have driven increased revenues for the organization and its clubs, including the USL’s Preferred Supplier program that has helped make world-class goods and service organizations part of gameday for clubs across the USL ecosystem.