By Rich McEvoy (

Cosenza, Italy (June 7, 2001) – Followers of the Italian Men’s NationalWater Polo Team flocked in groves to the swimming stadium in Cosenza, Italy
tonight hoping to watch their team play its final warm-up game against theUnited States Men’s National Water polo Team prior to the European Championships, which start in Budapest, Hungary next week. Hundreds were
turned away at the gate and had to settle for watching the Italian’s 8-1 victory over Team USA, through the fence or on top of walls surrounding thepool.

As those that did make into the stadium found their seats, they were given red, green or white colored balloons resulting in the stands looking like
the Italian flag. In front of the bleachers were strategically placed flares and roman candles that went off as the Italian national anthem was played. It was a night of celebration that began an hour before the startof the match and would last throughout the game as the home team drubbed the USA.

“Defensively we played well tonight, but our minds were not working on offense,” said U.S. Coach Ratko Rudic. “We gave the Italians many, many gifts.”

“On Tuesday night, we were very focused and played our best game of the tour against Croatia and tonight we played our worst game.” Rudic continued. “This is a very good psychological lesson for the future and is, in
retrospect, a good way to start our final preparation and motivate the


· The players named to the World Championship Team, who will begin play in
Fukuoka, Japan starting on July 19th are: Merrill Moses, Genai Kerr, Wolf
Wigo (Captain), Jeremy Pope, Jeff Powers, Adam Wright, Brad Schumacher,
Chris Segesman, Tony Azevedo, Dan Klatt, Layne Beaubien, Ryan Bailey and
Sean Kern.
· The USA played without Tony Azevedo and Sean Kern, both veterans of the
2000 Olympic Games. Both returned home to the U.S. to complete collegiate
course work.

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Author: Archive Team

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