Wednesday, March 11, 2009

USA Men's National Water Polo Team Returns Empty Handed from Europe

March 28th, after putting on a stellar clinic for high school players in the Atlanta area, the Men's National Team departed for Germany to begin their tour of Eastern Europe. The trip was made in order to play a few scrimmages against current water polo giants like Serbia and Hungary mainly for training and experience. They put up a good fight but ultimately the team, still high off their silver medal run in the summer games '08, failed to deliver in all four games.

Quoted from the USA water polo website:

"Team USA stopped first in Germany for several days of training losing to the Germans 10-6 on March 3. Rick Merlo led the scoring attack for the United States tacking on two scores while Adam Wright, Juan Delgadillo, Thomas Hopkins, and Kevin Witt all added tallies. Merrill Moses did the job in net halting 12 shots. Following their stay in Germany the team headed to Hungary to particiapte in the Volvo Cup. On March 6 the United States played Serbia falling in the match 11-5. It was the first meeting for the two since the United States' stellar victory in the semi-finals of the Olympics. Team USA then lost to Romania 8-7 on March 7 before rounding out the trip with a loss to Hungary on March 8 by a score of 13-4. The match against Hungary was a rematch of the Gold Medal game from the Olympics."

Now, I don't personally think that losing all four games is a bad sign for the silver medal squad, the whole trip was a learning experience anyway. Terry Schroeder, their head coach, is very confident in the team and continues to be optimistic. Of course he saw alot of things to improve on but also he saw many positive things happening in the water as well. Only time will tell if the US will be prepared for the World Championships, taking place this summer.

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