Saturday, August 23, 2008

More than Just the Games

While the games are the biggest part of the Women's Nike Friendlies and what we hope the participants remember and benefit from the most, there are plenty of other things that the event offers to enhance the experience via both education and overall enjoyment.

Hydration & Nutrition:
Gatorade has provided product for both at the benches of all six fields that are in use, and also had provided several varieties of bottled product for the Gatorade Bar, where all of the teams have been rushing right after the conclusion of their games. There are also apples, oranges and bananas available for the athletes as well.

Inspiration: One of the things every soccer coach tries to convey to his or her players is to watch soccer on TV, so what better way to do this than have the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal match playing on the 42" Panasonic Vieja TVs in the Athletes' Lounge.

Sports Medicine: Members of the U.S. National Team medical staff are on site in the Medical Tent and on the field to tape ankles, provide ice and in the event that there is are an injury, be able to provide top level care and advice.

Referee Education:
In addition to some talented local referees, more than 10 of the top young women's referees from around the country are on site. This not only provides the participant with better officials for the matches, but allows U.S. Soccer to evaluate women's referees that are candidates to be involved in WPS matches next spring.

Shoe Trials: Nike, the headline sponsor of the event, is on site allowing all participants to try the latest Nike soccer cleats in their games.

FIFA '08: TVs are set up with gaming consoles that are set up with EA Sports FIFA '08. When players are relaxing in the Athlete's Lounge, they can face off against their friends.

U.S. Soccer Store: While each participant was provided a backpack and sweatshirt from Nike, the folks from set up on-site for participants and fans pick up any of that U.S. Soccer gear they might want to get their hands to on show their support for the gold-medal winning U.S. WNT.

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