USA vs. Argentina Match Report

Polo world superpowers faced off in the final intercontinental challenge of the Newport International Polo Series 31st season, presented by Turkish Airlines.  The sun shone brightly across BD Field on the outstanding September day as a full house of enthusiastic spectators lined the pitch for the penultimate match of the year.  Inimitable voice of Newport Polo, William Crisp, was in top form as he welcomed players and fans, calling the match to order.

The teams lined up at centerfield for player introductions, starting with the home team, USA, in white was the tenacious Roger Souto at #1, with Newport Polo Founder & President Dan Keatingat #2, and surgically precise Dr. Dave Bullis at #3, while fan-favorite Rory Torrey filled #4.  In light blue for Argentina, the Buenos Aires hotshot, Estanito Puch was at #1, with Jorge ‘Malevo’ Ramos at #2, Kevin Horan at #3, and Team USA defector to represent his home country, Oskar Monzon at #4. Both nations’ anthems rang out around the field before TD Bank’s Charles Lomnitzer officiated the Coin Toss to determine starting directions.

Umpires Charlie Bullis and Jonathan Kaye ushered the teams into the starting lineup, then bowled the ball into play.  The initial power play yielded no advantage to either side through the first few minutes.  Missed goals on penalty hits by both sides ensued before Torrey finally broke the stalemate with the first goal of the match for USA, followed by a second with less than a minute in the first chukker.  Chukker two saw the winds shift in favor of Argentina, though it took a herculean struggle.  Horan put up the first challenger goal as the clock approached the two-minute mark while Monzon tied it up, 2-all, with seconds to spare.  An Argentine foul on a USA run to goal awarded a free hit from the 60-yard-line early in chukker three, converted by Torrey to regain the lead.  A minute later, Monzon tied again, putting the teams on equal footing as the bell signaled half-time.

September showers earlier in the week softened the field, prompting an all-out divot stomp effort to smooth it again for the second half.  The Cocktail Guru‘s Rojo Punch, featuring the classic Argentine combo of Malbec and cola was the sip and stomp libation of choice from the Pavilion Patio Bar.  The aroma of tantalizing delicacies wafting from the nearby mobile gourmets drew in the hungry masses, while those eager for a bit of a shopping spree strolled the Vendor Village.

Argentina retook the field, ready for an all-out charge toward dominance. USA gave the opening in the form of a penalty hit from the 60-yard-line, converted by Monzon, followed by a goal in regulation play.  Goals by Souto, then Keating tied the match again, but it was overturned by Puchand Monzon for an Argentine lead, 7 – 5.  Between chukkers, Stella Artois Best in Show judges awarded the pharaoh’s prize to a great pyramid erected in the tailgates in honor of the originally scheduled Egyptian team.  Argentina kept taking shots at the cracks in USA’s ramparts when another penalty conversion by Monzon was followed by a goal in regulation play to widen the fifth chukker lead 9-5.  USA’s defenses crumbled like the Alamo in the final chukker.  A barrage by Monzon added three more goals for Argentina.  Bullis managed a final shot for USA.  Horan then Puchled the last charge to take the perpetual cup 14 – 6.

Following the fan salute lap around the field perimeter, players and fans reconvened in front of the Pavilion Patio for the Veuve Clicquot Trophy Presentation and Champagne Toast.  BD’s Kate Bracken-Bellew awarded the 1992 USA vs. Argentina perpetual cup and Providence Diamond player trophies to the victorious Team Argentina.  After raising a glass to camaraderie and sportsmanship on and off the field, the players dispersed among the crowd for the autograph signing and cocktail hour.  Signature complimentary libations by The Cocktail Guru in the Modern Luxury Lounge capped off the festivities.

View the photo album.

Live audiences can enjoy the Newport International Polo Series polo matches every Saturday as they have for 31 years to witness the timeless sport unfold on the manicured, emerald green at Glen Farm, home of the Polo Series, in a classic exhibition of horsemanship and valor, with host, the Newport Polo Club, where the home team – Newport/USA – meets challengers each season from around the world as well as teams representing major US cities and regional rivals in one of Newport’s unique traditions and renowned attractions.   

The Polo Series is scheduled to continue every Saturday through September, with 6 remaining international teams, 4 city challengers, a Pro-Am and more. The schedule of teams is subject to change without notice, as per RI State mandates and US travel bans which may impact travel and Adult Sports.  Stay current with the 2022 team lineup & stats, latest news, events, and more by e-scription to the Gameday Briefing (sign up) and weekly eMagazine (sign up). Both subscriptions are private and spam-free.

The Polo Grounds’ favorable proximity to the shores of the island’s Sakonnet east passage provides reliably cool coastal effects, moderating afternoon temperatures and providing a dependable breeze for the late afternoon polo matches all summer.  Minutes from the bustling Newport waterfront, the International Polo Grounds are located on the acreage of Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) in Portsmouth, RI. This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of a pre-colonial settlement from the 1600’s that became the Town of Portsmouth’s original gentlemen’s farm, an 800-acre manorial estate established during a Gilded Age movement of retreat from the high life into pastoral country acres, to become the future home of polo in the next century. Its classical 19th-century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Polo Series founder, Dan Keating in the early 1990’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.  

The Newport International Polo Series is proud to roll out its 2022 sponsors including Brenton HotelBDTD BankTurkish AirlinesModern Luxury BostonHerb Chambers ExoticsVanderbilt International PropertiesHotel VikingSanta Margherita WinesProvidence DiamondVeuve ClicquotClarke Cooke HouseAtria Senior LivingUS Polo AssociationStella ArtoisGoslingsROCKSTAR Limo, and Classical 95.9 WCRI; and promotional partners including Newport Helicopter ToursThe Cocktail GuruNewport Jaguar ToursInternational Tennis Hall of FameNewport MansionsNewport Classical, Island Surf and SportNewport Picnic Co., Northeast Equestrian LifeNewport Vineyards and Audrain Automobile Museum.

“Our sponsors have been with us since the beginning. Without their support, the Series would not be as extensive as it is,” explains Dan Keating, Polo Series founder.

This is the 31st season of the Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from 36 nations including, Colombia, Ireland, Germany, Spain, England, Argentina, France, Egypt, India, Australia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Canada, Chile, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, New Zealand, Barbados, Scotland, South Africa, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco, Morocco, Peru, Poland, Switzerland and Colombia.

Gilded Age Legacy.  Polo is, without a doubt, the oldest ball game in the world today. First recorded in the 6th-century B.C. when the Turkomans beat the Persians in a diplomatic tournament, the alluring game caught on with equestrian royalty and cavalry, and took off with globalization, withstanding the tests of time. Arriving on Newport’s shores during the Gilded Age, the sport had evolved for nearly 2500 years, steeped in tradition, captivating newcomers like Newport’s summer sporting set who embraced the new pastime, establishing America’s first polo club in 1876.  A charter member of the United States Polo Association, the club today is still a trailblazing model polo club, hosting the Newport International Polo Series public exhibition matches, supporting philanthropic causes, organizing tournaments, polo club member services, and polo instruction year-round. Experience the king of games in its American landing at Newport Polo. 

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