2013 UANA results: United States earns silver medal, qualify for world championships

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Team USA was able to secure a berth to the 2013 FINA World Championships by finishing in second place at the UANA qualification tournament.

The men's United States water polo team did just enough to qualify for the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, later this year in July. Team USA earned their bid by defeating Argentina, for the second time, 15-8, and that propelled them to the title game with a rematch against Canada.

The second game against Canada was much closer this time around with the final score being in favor of Canada, 6-5. Team USA was led by Nikola Vavic who scored two goals, and the late rally by the Americans was not enough to beat their neighbors up North.

Canada came out strong to lead 4-0 through the second quarter, and it was not until the 2:48 mark of the second quarter when Team USA got on the board. That goal was scored by Vavic, his first of the game.

The second half is when the United States rallied to come back, they outscored Canada 4-2 in the second half. The United States offense struggled in the fourth quarter, and earned its only goal when Scott Davidson scored to make it a one-goal game with 2:18 left in the game. That was the only goal the Americans could muster in the final period, and missed out on the gold medal.

The area where the United States continues to struggle is their power play chances. Against Canada they went a terrible 0 for 8, while Canada went 4 of 9. If the United States could somehow manage to convert more power plays, then they team would actually be closer on par to the best teams in the world. This issue also hurt them, and helped them, during the Olympics, but it was more on the negative side for Team USA at London.

Getting to FINA was the main goal even though the team did not perform all that well. The bright side is that it gave some new players a chance to play on the national team in an important tournament, so next time they are called up they will be ready to play.

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