Muddy Swangard - 24 Hours

By Bob Mackin Swangard Stadium's field will be playable on Sunday when it hosts the United Soccer Leagues' First Division championship. It just won't be beautiful. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said city workers are "not sparing anything" to get the field ready for the Puerto Rico Islanders and Vancouver Whitecaps. It is too late to lay new sod, however. "This is a final event and they want the field to look and play as well as possible," Corrigan said. Sand was placed in large patches throughout midfield after the muddy Sept. 20 Simon Fraser Clan football game left major damage. "It was a bit of a freak of nature that it began to belt down before kickoff," said Whitecaps' president Bob Lenarduzzi. The Whitecaps briefly considered moving their Sept. 26 quarterfinal match with the Minnesota Thunder to Coquitlam. That game went ahead as planned at Swangard, as did Sunday's thrilling 2-0 semifinal win over the Montreal Impact. "It hasn't hurt the entertainment or quality of the games," Lenarduzzi said. Corrigan conceded that Burnaby is reluctant to make major investments to Swangard Stadium for the Whitecaps, who plan to leave for B.C. Place Stadium in 2011. Meanwhile, more than 3,000 tickets were sold yesterday for the final. The Islanders play Santos Laguna tomorrow night in Torreon, Mexico in CONCACAF Champions League and arrive Thursday in Vancouver.

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