Los Alamitos, Calif., June 10, 2002—The U.S. women’s team will be taking on 2001 World Champion Italy in a pair of exhibition games at the USA Water Polo National Aquatic Center in Los Alamitos on June 13 and June 15. The games will be the first international events to be held at the newly renovated facility at Los Alamitos, which has undergone a massive facelift
in recent months.
Italy took home the gold at last year’s FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, where the U.S. finished fourth. Team USA captured the silver at the
2000 Olympic Games, the first to include women’s water polo on its roster of sports.
The games will mark the women’s first appearance of the year at their home pool.
“We’re excited to get Italy here at our pool for these exhibitions,” said U.S. women’s head coach Guy Baker. “It’ll give us some good competition and
it’ll give our fans a chance to see a really good international team right
here in SoCal.”
Last weekend, the U.S. gunned its way to a second place finish at the USA Cup in Chicago. The tournament was the first of the year on home soil for the Team USA women, who defeated 2000 gold medallist Australia, 7-5, in the tourney finale. Despite only having played together in one tournament prior to Chicago, the U.S. finished with the weekend’s second highest goal total
(32), eight behind first place winner and 2000 silver medallist Russia.
The women, who are usually the centerpiece of summer activities at Los Alamitos, have moved their showcase north to Palo Alto. The Holiday Cup, which draws 2,000-3,000 fans per day on average, will be played at Stanford University from July 4-7, making this SoCal series with Italy a precious commodity.
The improvements at Los Alamitos include new offices, a concession stand, a ticket booth, new walls around the facility, and pool deck upgrades. This will be the public’s first peek at the overhauled venue, which is set to host four games for the new men’s FINA World League this summer.
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Exhibition Series Schedule:
Thursday, June 13 7:30 p.m. Italy $5.00
Saturday, June 15 6:00 p.m. Italy $5.00
12 & unders are Free
(Posted by Michael Collins courtesy of Eric Velazquez and USA Water Polo)