Winter Showcase Compliments 88 Games With Players' Lounge, Off-Field Activities
FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 17, 2008) - With 88 games spread over the course of two days, Development Academy Winter Showcase participants have seen a lot of high-quality soccer, but there is also plenty to experience in the Players’ Lounge at Pizza Hut Park. U.S. Soccer has provided an 8,000 square-foot enclosed tent where they can relax, re-hydrate and have fun with the multitude of activities under its roof. Throughout the day, the teams have been coming in and out all day to discover what’s within the tent.
“The lounge is amazing,” said Met Oval Under-15/16 player Karl Rumph. “I love the quality of the set up. Everything has been very professional and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
The Gatorade Hydration station has helped players learn how much they should hydrate. Players hop on the scale before and after their game to determine how much water weight they lose throughout 90 minutes of action. Upon entrance into the tent, players are treated to a Gatorade bar featuring the newest Gatorade flavors and products – all for free.
While re-hydrating after their games, Showcase participants get a sneak peek at the ultimate street football video game from Electronic Arts, FIFA Street 3, which will be released in North America on Feb. 18. EA Sports has set up consoles on nine plasma televisions throughout the lounge, with instructions so players can even continue their competition off the field.
Ten other plasma televisions are set up throughout the area, displaying match results from the day’s action, Men’s National Team highlights, ussoccer.com all_access features and exclusive interviews with National Team players.
“The tent is great,” said Carmel United’s Brandon Kim. “I didn’t get to spend as much time here today as I’d like, but I’m really excited to check out everything again tomorrow. I’m excited to try out the Nike gear and everything else.”
Studio 90 has set up a live stage for interviews and updates throughout the weekend with players and coaches creating a live Studio 90 audience. FC Dallas goalkeeper Josh Lambo joined S90 host Michael Kammarman on set, as the former member of the Chicago Magic came out to see his old club play in his new backyard. The 17 year-old Lambo was recently picked eighth overall by FC Dallas during the 2008 MLS SuperDraft.
Nike also has an area for product testing their latest prototypes and designs, giving players an opportunity to test the new brand new Mercurial Vapors, which are worn by Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. In addition to trying on shoes, Academy players have the opportunity to wear the boots in their games.
Also on display are new Nike prototype balls, made specifically for the 2008-09 Development Academy season. The Academy is one of few leagues around the world with its own specific colors and logos designed into the ball, along with the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Asian Football Federation, CBF, CONMEBOL and Nike National Teams (Portugal, Holland, South Korea and more).