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USA vs. Italy Match Report

Date:    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Italy outlasted USA in a spirited match on Saturday, July 7th, 2018, the third international faceoff of the NBC10 Newport International Polo Series 27, presented by BMW.  Tied at the end of 6 regulation chukkas, Italy came out the winner in a penalty shootout to close out the home team 8-7, and hoist the perpetual trophy for the first time in their 7th appearance.  

With Italian and US national flags rippling over the pitch, a capella vocalist Joe Cantone belted out both national anthems following the introduction of players.  Wearing blue for Italy in the #1 position was Raimondo Visconti di Modrone, with Curzio Recchi at #2, Matteo de Paolis at #3, and Paolo di Campello at #4.  Representing USA was Roger Souto in the #1 position, with Michel Nseir at #2, Sam Clemens at #3, and Peter Friedman at #4.  

Friedman put team USA on the board first with a goal at the beginning of the first chukka. Di Campello responded for Italy, ending the first chukka in a 1-1 tie. Di Campello continued his scoring streak, and scored the lone goal of the second chukka, putting Italy in the lead 2-1. However, team USA did not allow Italy to lead for long. In the third chukka, Clemens and Nseir together scored four goals, with Clemens tallying three, and Nseir one. The first half ended with team USA leading 5-2.

De Paolis was able to answer USA's charge and scored his first two goals for Italy at the beginning of the second half, putting Italy within a one-goal deficit of team USA at the end of the fourth chukka. Recchi tied the match 5-5 at the beginning of the fifth chukka, but Clemens immediately responded to put USA back in the lead 6-5. Di Campello charged back for Italy and tied the match again at the end of the fifth chukka. De Paolis scored at the beginning of the sixth chukka to put Italy in the lead 7-6. It looked as though Italy was going to be victorious, but Clemens scored for USA with less than thirty seconds left in the match to end the final chukka in a 7-7 tie, forcing the players into a penalty shootout.

Friedman and De Paolis were chosen to represent USA and Italy in the penalty shootout. Friedman took the first 40-yd penalty shot and missed just left of the goal post. De Paolis followed by missing his shot just short of the goal line. This forced the players to take a second shot. Friedman again missed his shot left of the goal post. De Paolis stepped up to take his shot, and this time soared the ball straight through the goal, giving Italy an 8-7 victory over USA.

During the match, a lucky gentleman from Boston, Massachusetts won a magnum of Veuve Clicquot Champagne in the weekly door prize drawing.  An extravagant tailgate party in space 19 wowed the judges by displaying a relic of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. National Flags of Italy and America were flying throughout their tailgate space. Specialty vendors and concessionaires were present in the Hospitality village at the polo grounds, and included the Twisted Pony Cocktail Bar, Horseshoe Wine Bar, Newport Polo Pro Shop, Flint & Flame, BMW and gourmet food trucks.

After 6 chukkas, the match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, as well as an autograph signing to meet the players.  The USA vs. Italy Perpetual Trophy was presented by Brian Cunha, host of Team Italy.  The evening concluded with an Après Polo Amici Riuniti to celebrate Italy's victory with traditional savory foods native to Italy.

While in Newport, the Italy Team enjoyed many of the best attractions and highlights in the City by the Sea, including hospitality by Grace Vanderbilt, team lodging sponsor;  riding in style in a BMW X5 SUV; Newport Mansion tours; Secret Garden Tours of Newport for exclusive access to the private gardens of Newport's Point District; a glorious sunset sail;  Sightseeing courtesy of Scooter World;  Tennis on the legendary grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame;  Paddle boarding with Island Surf and Sport; cocktails & dancing at the Season Kickoff Bash on the eve of the match at the one and only Clarke Cooke House, and all the great goings on in the City by the Sea.

"Polo is an international sport, played in over 80 countries around the globe, and we are honored to have teams traveling great distances to play in Newport," stated Dan Keating, captain of the USA squad.  "A following of Scottish fans from throughout the region has grown each time the Scotts are on the schedule, wearing kilts and waving 'the Saltire' St. Andrews cross in lively support of their fellow countrymen."

Dating back more than 130 years in Newport, the polo matches are one of Newport’s grandest & most popular traditions, a living legacy from the Gilded Age, and open to the public.  Audiences of several thousand spectators enjoy the contests against international teams, as well as teams representing major US cities, playing against the home team every Sat, June thru Sept. at 5 PM / 4 PM in Sept.  

Stay current with the 2018 team lineup, latest news, events and more through our e-Magazine, by subscription to our monthly Emagazine (sign up) and out Gameday Scorecard (sign up).  Both subscriptions are private and spam free.

Info about the Polo Series, our venue, concessions & amenities, and other information can be found on the About Newport Polo page.

Season subscriptions to the Newport International Polo Series are available for individual lawn or Pavilion seating, reserved tables, corporate tailgates & VIP lounge tables to take in all 18 weeks of polo action.  

This is the 27th season of Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from over 30 nations including, 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 and Poland.

Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) in Portsmouth, RI.  This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of what was once a 700-acre manorial farm whose settlement dates back to the 1600's.  Its classical stone barns from the Gilded Age and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by polo series founder, Dan Keating, and thrive today as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.

The Newport International Polo Series is proud to present its 2018 sponsors including Gallo Thomas InsuranceNBC - 10BMW Centers of Rhode IslandModern Luxury BostonGrace HotelsGurney's Newport Resort & MarinaHotel VikingVanderbilt International PropertiesThe Chanler at CliffwalkVeuve Clicquot ChampagneBrahminClarke Cooke HouseFlint & Flame, Rockstar LimoStella ArtoisNewport Daily NewsWhere BostonAtria Senior LivingGoslings RumThe Hermitage Club and promotional partners including International Tennis Hall of FameAmerica's Cup ChartersNewport Helicopter ToursThe Cocktail GuruNewport MansionsIsland Surf and SportMcGrath Clambakes and Scooter World. “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.

There's no sport like polo. Be a part of it!  Newport Polo hosts the Newport International Polo Series XXVII, and is the home of America's first polo club, est. in 1876, offering public exhibition matches, polo club member services for grass & arena polo, and polo instruction year-round; founding member of the United States Polo Association.