Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dueling Lounges...

In case you thought one lounge wasn't enough...

Last week, the Shoreline Room at the Westin Long Beach resembled any other hotel banquet space: neutral d├ęcor, soft lighting, potted plants. As of last Friday, however, it has transformed into the area’s foremost entertainment haven, providing teams with a place to kick back and test their PS3 prowess. It began with a simple combination of Ikea furniture and Sony electronics, but thanks to the ingenuity of US Soccer interns, the Players’ Lounge has morphed into so much more. Players filter in and out during their free time to challenge each other at FIFA games, watch DVDs, drink Gatorade, and listen to an eclectic mix of bumping beats created just for the event. Many admirers have popped in to see what all the hype is about, only to be told by U.S. Soccer Hired Muscle that the lounge is reserved for Development Academy players only.

“It broke my heart the other day when I had to turn away half of a British Airlines flight crew,” said the aforementioned Muscle, “but the bottom line is these players have worked hard to have an awesome place like this to hang out.”

Academy players are certainly enjoying their private hang-out.

“The music has been stellar. The lounge is the first place I want to go after walking into the hotel,” said Adekunle Oluyedua, a player from Carmel’s U15/16 squad. “After hitting the showers, of course.”

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