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THE GOLD CUP'S YOUNG CHAMPION - AN ARTICLE BY CLICKPOLOUSA

Apr 02, 2019 1:01 PM

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NECKSHOT
Matias Gonzalez hits a deep neckshot. ©David Lominska

Matias Gonzalez is only 20 years old, but he is already living out his dream. Playing with Pilot, he has already won the first two tournaments of the GAUNTLET OF POLO™, the C.V. Whitney Cup and now the USPA Gold Cup®, after defeating Aspen 12-11 in overtime in a thrilling match.

CLICKPOLOUSA talked with Gonzalez after his USPA Gold Cup® victory. The first question asked was, “What is the most important trophy you’ve won before this one?” Matias, also known as Colo, did not hesitate before answering, "none." It is obvious that this is also a very important accomplishment because he won in his home city of Wellington, Florida. "It is a dream come true to have won where I was raised. Especially with an organization like Pilot," Gonzalez said with pride.

Gonzalez with Curtis Pilot
Matias Gonzalez and Pilot team owner Curtis Pilot share a celebratory hug. ©David Lominska

Having won the tournaments with brothers Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres is also special for Gonzalez. "I’ve gone from watching them from the sidelines when I was young, to now having played with two of the best players in the sport!” Gonzalez said with excitement. “That is another dream come true for me." About the USPA Gold Cup® final itself, Gonzalez was confident about his team’s ability to win. "I was nervous before getting on the field. We knew we had to tweak something when we were behind, but we played with faith and felt that we could win it."

Gonzalez will never forget the good times he is having in 2019, a pivotal year in his career when within only a few months he has already won two of the most prestigious cups in North America.

C.V. Whitney Cup MVP
Matias Gonzalez was named Most Valuable Player in the C.V. Whitney Cup final, presented by U.S. Polo Assn. CEO James Michael Prince. ©David Lominska

Like many other American polo players, Matias Gonzalez is the son of Argentines, born and raised in the United States. "My father Diego Gonzalez played in North America as a pro and he started me in the sport," Gonzalez said. His life started in a non-traditional place for polo, but his family then moved to the sport's center in South Florida. "I was born in Columbus, Ohio, but later we moved to Wellington, Florida."

Gonzalez is happy about the variety of polo being played in the United States this year. "American polo is growing a lot, there are 16 teams in the 22-goal tournaments and another eight playing in the 26-goal World Polo League. That is a lot of polo, which is great for the sport. It is nice to have so much polo being played right around the corner!"

Matias Gonzalez playing in the first game of the XI FIP World Polo Championship against Argentina.
USA's Matias Gonzalez takes ball on nearside with Argentina's Valentin Novillo Astrada defending.

Gonzalez also talked about the importance of being part of Team USPA and how it has helped him. "Being a part of Team USPA is great for me. Having the support of the United States Polo Association helps my career a lot. Having been able to travel to Australia for the XI FIP World Polo Championship and playing in GAUNTLET OF POLO™ with Pilot is a very positive experience."

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