MIAMI, Fla., May 23. THE USA Women's National Team opened the Russian International Tournament with a win in Kirishi, a town located in northern Russia near St. Petersburg.
The tournament features the top four teams from the Sydney Olympics. Three of these teams — Russia, Australia and the USA — plus 2001 World Champion, Italy, will travel to Chicago for the U.S. Cup, June 6-8.
The Men's FINA Water Polo World League will make its debut in Los Alamitos, June 26 and 30, when the USA takes on Croatia. Team USA will play Russia July 4 and 6, also at Los Alamitos, before taking to the road to play Russia, Croatia and Hungary. The USA concludes preliminary play against the Hungarians, July 26 and 27 at the Soda Aquatic Complex, during the USA Water Polo National Jr. Olympics.
Two Speedo/USA Water Polo Experience Clinics will be given at Diablo Valley College on July 25. Teams from outside of California that are interested in attending should plan on arriving in the Moraga area in time to participate. For more information, contact the USA Water Polo National Office and log on to usawaterpolo.com
The USA dropped its first game against the World All-Stars at Villa Park HS. Below, we've reprinted a review of the clinic and game that was posted on the message board. The complete California clinic schedule is posted on the World All-Star Tour link on usawaterpolo.com
Water Polo Dad Recounts Game and Clinic Experience
For those of you who have a chance to participate in a clinic or see a game from the US v. World All-Star tour, don't miss it. This is truly a unique and wonderful polo experience. Tonight at Villa Park High School, ORCA with the U.S. Olympic Team and coaches and World All-Stars, put on a fantastic clinic and exhibition game. The atmosphere was electric; enthusiasm abounded. A large group of boys and girls from age group and younger, and up through high school, participated in the staged clinics, which were hands on, in the pool, one on one instruction. The older clinic participants commented later how much they had learned in just a short time with the players in the water.
The game was something to behold. Although only an exhibition, no one wanted to get shown up, and the players played hard. What skill, speed and strength! World All-Stars won by two. Aside from the high level of play, what made it all worthwhile was seeing how the players and clinic participants really connected and enjoyed each other, with the kids learning a lot in a short time.
The players from both sides were impressive in their attitudes and willingness to help and teach kids of all levels. At times I think they were enjoying themselves with the kids more than the kids were enjoying them.
Everyone had fun. The kids — all ages — were on Cloud Nine talking and playing with their polo heroes. My son had a smile on his face from ear to ear for two hours straight that reminded me of when he was a small child. After the game, everyone interacted on the pool deck — players, clinic participants, coaches, parents, family, friends, etc. — and once again, the players and coaches were extremely nice and forthcoming. They warmed to the crowd. They waited around as long as the fans and clinic participants wanted to talk, joke, take pictures, get autographs, get further instruction, eat pizza with their favorite player, learn to say "hot chick" in Hungarian and Italian, you name it. Thanks to ORCA, Villa Park, and Mike Giles for a wonderful evening that will long be remembered by all who attended.