USA Team Wins Silver in Global Competition, with Spain Winning Gold 11-10 in Sudden Death
WELLINGTON, Fla. (November 10, 2022) The XII Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship, hosted by the United States Polo Association (USPA) and U.S. Polo Assn. and presented by The Palm Beaches concluded this weekend with USA Team wins Silver in the global competition, with Spain winning Gold 11-10 in a thrilling sudden death overtime face-off. Held at the USPA National Polo Center (NPC) – Wellington, this is only the second time in the competition’s history that the FIP World Championship has been held in the United States.
“I would like to thank all of the FIP World Polo Championship sponsors, particularly Discover the Palm Beaches, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and ESPN,” said J. Michael Prince, President and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, the company that oversees and manages the U.S. Polo Assn. brand. “Having the ability to broadcast globally across ESPN has brought tremendous awareness to the sport and our U.S. Polo Assn. brand while showing fans around the world the excitement of the sport.”
“Congratulations to USA Team for their outstanding play in this international competition, for their peak performance among some of the world’s best players,” he added.
Highlights of the tournament included a heart-stopping semi-final with USA beating Argentina 9-8, also in sudden death overtime, and allowing them to advance to the Final. Until this week, Argentina was the reigning Champion, winning the FIP title in 2017 in Sydney, Australia, the last time the event was played. The USA Team last captured the title in 1989 in Germany.
The USPA selected the most talented polo players to represent the USA Team. Ranging in age from 17 to 25, the seven American players were Nico Diaz Alberdi, Agustin Arellano, Hope Arellano, Joaquin Avendaño, Lucas Escobar, Nico Escobar, and Jake Klentner.
Of this extremely accomplished roster, Hope Arellano at just 19 years old made history. As the first woman to play for the USA Team and in the competition overall, she was a standout - scoring multiple goals in the Semi-Finals and the Final. Agustin and Hope’s father Julio Arellano served as USA Team coach, with such credentials as winning the FIP tournament with his own team in 1989.
In addition, there were two sets of siblings playing for USA Team – Lucas and Nico Escobar alongside Agustin and Hope Arellano, both U.S. Polo Assn. brand ambassadors. Ultimately, Nico Escobar was the team’s leading scorer throughout the FIP tournament, scoring six of the goals in the Final.
Serving as the host country, the United States welcomed seven other countries for the opportunity for international polo glory, including Argentina, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain and Uruguay. To qualify to advance to the XII FIP World Polo Championship, these teams played in five zone playoffs, which involved more than 20 countries vying for the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their nation on an international stage.
“It was an honor for the United States Polo Association and the USPA National Polo Center – Wellington, to host this remarkable event and be able to bring people from around the world together right here in Palm Beach County,” said Stewart Armstrong, USPA Chairman. “We are incredibly proud of the USA Team for their outstanding performance to place second among these great countries and exceptional athletes. The USPA looks forward to the official opening of polo season in Florida this coming January.”
Featuring top-rated polo fields, VIP experiences for both fans and players, and unrivaled corporate hospitality, the XII FIP World Polo Championship was an exceptional and unforgettable global event for players, sponsors and spectators. Preliminary games were held at Valiente Polo Farm and the Opening Ceremony, Opening Game, and Final took place at NPC’s U.S. Polo Assn. Stadium Field.
Palm Beach County was the ideal location for this global event, attracting South Florida’s enthusiastic polo and equestrian community as well as passionate sports fans from around the world. The 2022 tournament drew the attention of the global polo community to Wellington, “the winter equestrian capital of the world.” with the XII FIP World Polo Championship Opening broadcast on ESPN.
“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a proud sponsor and supporter of the sport of polo, and the XII FIP World Polo Championship represents a major victory for the county and the state of Florida,” added George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. "Sports and sports tourism is a huge part of this county's identity, with the USPA National Polo Center – Wellington considered the most recognizable equestrian sporting venue in America. This historic event was thrilling for everyone involved and we were honored to participate."
U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA), served as the Official Apparel Sponsor for the XII Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship presented by The Palm Beaches. Outfitting the teams with custom-designed performance jerseys, U.S. Polo Assn. was proud to join forces once again with FIP to showcase the brand during the pinnacle of international polo competition. U.S. Polo Assn. event collection is available online at USPA Pro.
For more information visit the FIP World Polo Championship.
About U.S. Polo Assn. and USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL)
U.S. Polo Assn. is the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA), the nonprofit governing body for the sport of polo in the United States and one of the oldest sports governing bodies, having been founded in 1890. With a multi-billion-dollar global footprint and worldwide distribution through some 1,200 U.S. Polo Assn. retail stores and thousands of department stores as well as sporting goods channels, independent retailers and e-commerce, U.S. Polo Assn. offers apparel for men, women, and children, as well as accessories and footwear in 190 countries worldwide. Today, U.S. Polo Assn. is ranked among the top five sports licensors in the world, according to License Global. Visit uspoloassnglobal.com.
USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL) is the for-profit subsidiary of the USPA and its exclusive worldwide licensor. USPAGL manages the global, multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand and is the steward of the USPA's intellectual properties, providing the sport with a long-term source of revenue. Through its subsidiary, Global Polo Entertainment (GPE), USPAGL also manages Global Polo TV, the world’s leading digital platform with polo and lifestyle content. In addition, USPAGL partners with ESPN and beIN Sports globally to share the sport of polo broadcasts on television and on-demand to millions of viewers around the world. For more polo content visit globalpolo.com.