LAKE WORTH, FL–(Marketwired – April 01, 2015) – The United States Polo Association® (USPA) today announced that the United States was defeated by Chile today 12-11 in overtime in the final of the 10th Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship, being held in Santiago, Chile. It was the first defeat for the United States in the tournament.
Taking the field against Chile for Team USPA, the United States’ national polo team were the same players who prevailed against defending champion Argentina and world polo powers Brazil and England:
Jesse Bray (5-goal) from Indio, California, age 22
Remy Muller (2-goal) from Santa Barbara, CA, age 22
Patrick Uretz (3-goal) from Malibu, CA, age 23
Felipe Viana (4-goal) from Charlottesville, VA, age 25
Team USPA got off to its usual fast start, up 1-0 at the end of the first chukker on an opening goal by Patrick Uretz. In the second chukker Jesse Bray made two penalty twos, making the score 3-1 at the end of the second. The score was 5-2 at the half thanks to scores by Felipe Viana and Bray. Chile started the second half on a tear with 4 goals in the 4th chukker to USA’s lone goal by Remy Muller. Team USPA regained its footing in the 5th scoring 3 goals to regain the lead 9-7 by the end of the chukker. Chile stormed back to tie the game at 11 just prior to the end of regulation time and then Chile’s Mario Silva scored the game winner shortly into overtime to capture the title. Scoring for the USA were Remy Muller with 2, Felipe Viana with 3, Jesse Bray with 5 and Patrick Uretz with 1.
Team USPA’s Remy Muller was named Sportsman of the Tournament. The USA’s 2nd place finish is its second-best finish in the history of the FIP World Polo Championship, overshadowed only by the USA’s victory in 1989. In 1992 and 1998 the USA took fourth place in the tournament.
“This was an incredible match and the hardest competition we’ve faced yet as a team,” said Joel Baker, Head Coach of Team USPA. “The team played exceptionally well together today as they did all through the tournament. While we didn’t win this one I am still very proud of what the team accomplished during this World Championship for Team USPA, American polo, and the sport overall.”
“It was such an amazing experience and a great honor to represent our country in the 2015 FIP World Polo Championship here in Santiago, Chile,” said Mason Wroe, Team USPA Team Captain. “Our hats go off to the Federation of International Polo for the excellent production of matches and overall organization of this tournament. We would also like to thank the San Cristobal Polo Club for their generous hospitality and pristine facilities.”
“This was an incredibly challenging game and Chile was a tremendous competitor on the field,” said Peter Rizzo, Chief Executive Officer of the United States Polo Association. “The USPA is exceedingly proud of how Team USPA played and represented our country as great players and sportsmen.”
This year’s field of six teams was divided by random draw into two brackets, one consisting of Chile, Pakistan, and England, and the other consisting of Argentina, USA and Brazil. In the FIP World Polo Championship, each team played the other two in its bracket and the two teams with the best records from each bracket advanced to a single-elimination semi-final round. This year’s semi-finalists where the United States, England, Chile and Brazil. The United States and Chile were the winning semi-finalists, both entering the World Championship final undefeated.
The FIP World Polo Championship is played every three or four years and was inaugurated in 1987. The United States has qualified for the final round of the tournament six out of the nine times it has been held, winning fourth place in 1992 and 1998 and winning the championship in 1989. The United States qualified for the 2015 final round in Chile by winning the FIP Zone A playoffs, going undefeated against regional rivals Canada, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
About the United States Polo Association ®
Founded in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the national governing body for the sport of polo in North America and is one of the oldest sport governing bodies in the United States. With over 270 member clubs and 40 national tournaments, the USPA governs polo handicaps, tournament rules and safety regulations, to ensure the welfare and being of both pony and player. Funded by sales from the officially licensed consumer brand, U.S. Polo Assn., the USPA purposefully re-invests revenue by underwriting numerous development programs to expand and sustain the sport of polo. For more information please visit www.uspolo.org.