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Inside Polo 27

INSIDE POLO with Ron Allen

Valiente, Zacara, Polo Teams, US OPEN Polo Championships, 2013 Ron Allen, Inside Polo

Valiente, Zacara, Polo Teams, US OPEN Polo Championships, 2013 Ron Allen, Inside Polo

In the game of baseball it’s called the “Rubber Game”. A typical baseball schedule will have teams playing a weekend series of three games in three days. If they split the first two games then the third game or rubber match decides who wins the series. That’s what is about to take place in polo in the finals of the 26 goal U.S. Open.

 

For the third time this season Zacara will face Valiente. Both teams are undefeated in Open competition. Two months ago Zacara knocked off Valiente in the Whitney Cup 8 to 7 and four weeks later the tables were turned, as Valiente was victorious over Zacara in the Gold Cup 13 to 9.

 

Zacara is the defending champion with solid players at the front and back. Facundo Pieres (10) plays number one with precision and skill. Veteran Mike Azzaro (7) is at the back as number four and is known for his tough defensive plays and his unique ability to go through and score.

The team captain is Lyndon Lea (1) who plays though pain and takes and active roll in his teams’ success. The number three jersey is worn by Magoo LaPrida (8). He’ll have to be consistent on both sides of the field to help keep his team competitive.

 

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Zacara: Azzaro, Pieres, Lea & LaPrida

 

Valiente is captained by Bob Jornayvaz (0) a determined player who can score if he gets loose in front. Young Santi Torres (6) is number two and the most improved player in Florida high goal this year. His cat-like quickness and ability to run to goal makes him the best six-goal player in the tournament. Number three Pelon Sterling (10) combines with his LaDolfina teammate Adolfo Cambiaso (10) who has been playing at back all season. They are the deadliest combination in 26-goal polo. They can pick and run and they can double back better than any two players on the field.

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Valiente: Sterling, Torres, Jornayvaz & Cambiaso

 

Unlike baseball there will be no tomorrow. It’s the season ender and promises to be a real battle of the unbeatens for the Open crown and bragging rights for an entire year that only one team was victorious in polo’s best of three game series.

 

Ron Allen is the polo reporter and commentator for ESPN TV and Pololine TV

 

 

 

Valiente, Zacara, Polo Teams, US OPEN Polo Championships, 2013 Ron Allen, Inside Polo