Oct 09, 2020 9:53 PM

Santa Clara's Lucas Escobar goes for a hook on Jesse Bray.
Santa Clara's Lucas Escobar goes for a hook on Jesse Bray in the 2020 America Cup.

Lucas Escobar* just recently turned 18 years old on September 25, 2020. Now officially an adult, Escobar is also one of the biggest upcoming young stars in American polo. He has had a great season, with notable performances in Wellington, Florida, and Santa Barbara, California, winning the 2020 America Cup (and Most Valuable player) on his family’s Santa Clara. Every day he plays a little bit better, setting his sights on his goals. "My idea is to keep working hard and try to play the best polo I can,” Escobar said. “I have to be patient and try to make the best of good opportunities." Demonstrating maturity at a young age and with the guidance of his father Luis Escobar, Lucas is calm and humble. "You have to always keep learning,” Escobar added.

Lucas is also a member of Team USPA. "The USPA has done incredibly well in supporting young players,” Escobar said. “They have helped many young players like myself and my brother Nico. I think that with good opportunities and experience I can accomplish all my dreams in polo.”

Pilot's Lucas Escobar hits a deep neckshot.
Pilot's Lucas Escobar hits a deep neckshot.

The COVID-19 pandemic aside, 2020 has been a good year for Escobar and he has done really well for himself. He played great tournaments, won a 16-goal tournament, and shared the field with top-level players who he was able to learn from. "This was a great year for me because I was fortunate to play on great teams with some of the best players in the world,” Escobar commented. “I played with Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres for Pilot in the GAUNTLET OF POLO® (International Polo Club Palm Beach) and with Santi Toccalino with Santa Clara in Santa Barbara," Lucas said. "I have learned a lot and improved as a player just by playing with them. Pilot reached the semifinals of the USPA Gold Cup® before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Then after winning the America Cup I went to the Pacific Coast Open Final for the second year in a row."

Taking the young polo player under his wing, 10-goaler Facundo Pieres spoke well of his potential in the sport. "I think it is going to help him a lot to have the chance to play on a team like Pilot,” Pieres commented. “He is doing everything he can to improve and we are going to help him as much as possible. It is always nice to see young upcoming players improving their game and playing good polo."

“Lucas’ hand-eye coordination is very good, and he can hit any shot,” Pieres continued. “He is really talented with the ball. He just needs some coaching on how to take the man stronger and create more space. He is also teachable and can take direction which is very important for a player his age.”

Facundo discusses strategy with Lucas Escobar during the Ylvisaker Cup.
Facundo discusses strategy with Lucas Escobar during the Ylvisaker Cup.

Escobar has played all across the United States. "I think American polo is doing really well,” Escobar said. “The last few seasons at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club [Carpinteria, California] and Greenwich Polo Club [Greenwich, Connecticut] have been amazing. It slowed down due to COVID-19, but it is picking back up again and continuing to improve."

*Lucas Escobar is a member of Team USPA. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.

All photos ©David Lominska.