Team USA Men’s Water Polo Squashes Canada, 16-7

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., July 21. TEAM USA pushed its record to 2-0 in the FINA World League Semifinals in Los Alamitos, Calif., on Thursday. The Americans started out fast and beat the Canadians in the first half of the game. Tony Azevedo scored four goals for the U.S. and Ryan Bailey, Jesse Smith and Peter Varellas each had three. Eleven of Team USA’s 16 goals connected before halftime. Overall, the U.S. rolled Canada, 16-7. In other contests, Australia won against France, 10-5, and China squeezed by Brazil, 9-8.

“I really thought Canada came out ready to play,” Team USA head coach Ricardo Azevedo said. “They did a really nice job. Our whole program tonight was to come out very hard. France is going to be tough tomorrow and Australia is going to be tough too.”

Tony Azevedo on the scoreboard at 5:41 to give U.S. the first goal. Aaron Feltham answered with a clean corner shot, 1-1 (5:07). Adam Wright tacked up the second goal off a power play less than one minute later, 2-1. With three minutes in the first period, Genai Kerr the ball off the pass down the pool and on the counter, Tony Azevedo received the pass and drew a penalty. Bailey converted, 3-1. Bailey launched a backhand from center as the first quarter drew to an end, 4-2. Smith notched a second goal from seven meters out at 5:06 in the second quarter to give the U.S. a three-point lead, 6-3. On the next counter, Bailey landed a hat trick with an assist from Varellas, 7-3. Varellas turned around and scored the next three goals for Team USA, 10-4. Canadian head coach Dragan Jovanovic received a yellow card when Nathanial Miller was ejected (CAN) with a minute left in the game.

“Our main objective right now is Greece,” Team USA player Tony Azevedo said. “We’re really this close to getting to our peak. We lifted this morning so tonight we’re going to come out a little tired. By Sunday (against Australia), we should be really strong and the best shape we’re going to be in. In these games we have to be strong, but we also have to keep in good shape because three weeks from now we have to be in unbelievable shape.”

Action will continue July 21 with games between Australia and China (5:45 p.m.), Canada and Brazil (7:15 p.m.) and USA and France (8:45 p.m.)

USA – 4 7 2 3 – 16
CAN – 2 3 1 1 – 7

USA – P. Varellas 3, J. Powers 2, A. Wright 1, R. Bailey 3, T. Azevedo 4, Smith 3
CAN – T. Marks 1, D. Stein 2, A. Feltham 1, N. Miller 1, J. Sayegh 2

USA – G. Kerr 9
CAN – N. Youngblud 3, R. Randall 6

USA – 5 of 7, 1 of 1 (penalty)
CAN – 2 of 5

DELEGATE: Gianni Lonzi, Bill Frady
REFEREES: Hart, Vanhems

BRA – 2 2 2 2 – 8
CHN – 2 3 4 0 – 9

BRA – A. Raposo 1, R. Seabra 2, F. Franco 2, D. Mameri 3
CHN – F. Tan 1, L. Yu 1, Y. Wang 1, J. Guo 1, Z. Han 4, S. Liu 1

BRA – A. Coreiro 5
CHN – W. Ge 10

BRA – 3 of 9
CHN – 3 of 6

DELEGATE: Gianni Lonzi, Bill Frady
REFEREES: Koganov, Corr

AUS – 4 1 3 2 – 10
FRA – 0 4 1 0 – 5

AUS – D. Marsden 1, T. Franklin 1, T. Neesham 1, S. McGregor 3, T. Whalan 3, G. Woods 1
FRA – T. Simon 2, R. Blary 1, Y. Clay 1, Q. Chipotel 1

AUS – L. Trettel 3
FRA – R. Garsau 3, B. Bry 5

AUS – 0 of 3, 1 of 1 (penalty)
FRA – 2 of 6

DELEGATE: Gianni Lonzi, Bill Frady
REFEREES: Valouche, Patelli

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