Despite loss, Team USA can look forward with optimism


Stanford senior Alex Bowen scored twice but the United States men's senior national team could not overcome a four-goal, fourth-quarter deficit, losing to Croatia, 8-6, in the bronze medal game of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday.

Cardinal junior Bret Bonanni was named top scorer of the tournament, with 13 goals, while Olympian Jesse Smith was named best defender. Bonanni, Smith and John Mann were named to the World Cup all-tournament team.

Bowen, Bonanni and Cardinal senior Connor Cleary will join the Cardinal water polo team in time for the season opener on Sept. 6. Stanford was picked to finish first in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason coaches poll.

Team USA (14-17-1) finished its year with two losses but also with some encouraging signs. One of its youngest teams ever, the Americans proved competitive with the top teams in the world.

The U.S. lost 10 of its games to defending Olympic gold medalists Hungary and world champion Serbia, six by three goals or fewer.

The 12th Annual USA Water Polo Golf Tournament, presented by Sea Air Federal Credit Union, is set for Friday, September 12 at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. The event helps support U.S. national teams.

The day of golf is followed by an awards dinner and auction all while spending time with national team athletes. Register now to secure your spot as a single golfer or foursome before the earlybird deadline closes on September 1.

Click her for more information regarding the golf tournament. USA Water Polo is also sponsoring a special opportunity drawing to raise funds.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Water Polo

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