Houston Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley said it was "unacceptable" for MLS to play a game at the Maryland SoccerPlex after his team settled for a 2-2 draw with D.C. United there on Saturday.
D.C. United chose to host the game at the SoccerPlex because its new stadium, Audi Field, will not open until this summer. But Beasley, an MLS veteran and a longtime member of the United States national team, was not impressed with the facilities.
"Just when I thought MLS was getting better in every aspect, todays 'conditions' were unacceptable!!" Beasley wrote on Twitter. "From the locker room to the 'training' room (which was jus[t] an area blocked by curtains next to the vending machines) kids volleyball goin[g] on, it was a circus. #unacceptable"
In a subsequent tweet, Beasley suggested that he did not have an issue with the field surface. ESPN has asked MLS and D.C. United for a response to Beasley's comments.
The attendance for Saturday's game was 5,158 -- which the venue called "packed" -- despite light snow and the complex's location 16 miles outside the Capital Beltway that encircles Washington. The game was not included in season ticket packages.
The Plex is surely Packed! 😎 pic.twitter.com/ocgf9cVlw2— MD SoccerPlex (@MDSoccerPlex) March 17, 2018
The sprawling venue in Germantown features 24 soccer fields and eight "basketball and/or volleyball courts." It usually hosts the Washington Spirit of the NWSL as well as youth and amateur leagues, and United has used its main stadium as recently as last year for U.S. Open Cup matches.
While the MLS game was going on, the other fields at the complex hosted the MSI Cherry Blossom Classic, a youth soccer tournament, while an MVSA volleyball tournament took place at the Discovery Sports Center, which also houses the dressing rooms for the soccer stadium.
"We knew it was going to be tough," Dynamo midfielder Alberth Elis said after the game. "We knew the weather was going to be a challenge and we were at a field that neither they or us were fully comfortable."
As the Washington Post reported last year, United asked to play the entire first half of its season on the road as it waited for Audi Stadium to be available, but while MLS agreed to schedule 12 of United's first 14 games on the road, the league insisted the team find alternate sites for the other two.
After considering a return to their former home RFK Stadium and other local sites, United settled on the SoccerPlex for Saturday's game and the 34,000-seat Navy football stadium in Annapolis for the April 14 game against Columbus.
MLS originally did not approve of the SoccerPlex, according to the Post, citing security concerns and a lack of a dressing room for referees, but the league eventually relented.
"It is our home," D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said ahead of the game. "It is our home for now and we will treat it as such."