The 2018 Barry Cup begins this weekend at IPC—and with a scintillating twist this year. Each of the first three game days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) will introduce one of the three new teams in this year’s 20-goal season. They are: Pilot, Colorado and SD Farms. Here is a preview of who and what the new teams bring to the mix.
After a wildly successful run for many years with Orchard Hill, Facundo Pieres and Gonzalito Pieres have joined to form the Pilot team with new patron Curtis Pilot. Pilot’s role will be primarily a positional riding role, creating space for Facundo and Gonzalito and moving the ball down the field if he is passed to in the #1 position.
With 19 goals between the two Piereses, the performance of Pilot ultimately lies in the hands of the brothers. They provide a formidable duo behind their years of experience playing together. Enjoying success on the King Power Foxes team in the UK and Ellerstina in Argentina, they will have an instant chemistry that doesn’t usually exist among new teams. Averaging a combined 11.5 goals per game during last year’s season in the United States ranked Facundo and Gonzalito fourth and tenth respectively among all players.
The roles of the other two players will be crucial, as they provide space for the Pieres boys to create scoring opportunities. Only 16 years old, Timmy Dutta rounds out the team. With Facundo leading all players last year in shot attempts and throw-in wins, the key to Pilot’s success will be the ability of each team member to play his role in hopes of maximizing the offensive talents of their star players.
Newly formed Colorado makes its IPC debut in the Joe Barry. With the same patron (Rob Jornayvaz) and a modified lineup, Colorado was a finalist in the inaugural 20-goal Colorado Open Polo Championship last August in Denver. In the new lineup, Juan Britos provides offensive firepower. He was very effective for Park Place during their highly successful 2017 summer season in the UK, as well as being a substitute for La Aguada Las Monjitas during the 2017 Triple Crown in Argentina. An offensively gifted player, Britos is active in the middle of the field. Jornayvaz is effective at creating space downfield in the #1 position, assisting in attacks for his teammates.
Magoo Laprida joins Colorado after a successful season in Argentina with Cría Yatay, where he scored 2.5 goals per game in the Argentine Open. Last year in the USA, Laprida joined Equine Liquid Biocell during the Ylvisaker Cup and Audi during the U.S. Open, contributing 1.6 goals per game. At an 8-goal handicap, Laprida provides more than just offense, as he is active defensively throughout the game. He plays a high-pressure style of defense that will be beneficial to Colorado. Playing in last year’s Ylvisaker Cup for Horseware,
Nano Gracida plays a fast style that will fit in well on Colorado. In his three games with Horseware, Gracida made two goals. In a similar style to Laprida, Gracida is active in the middle of the field, pressuring the ball and creating turnovers and offense for his team. With another year of experience under his belt, Gracida will look to make an impact offensively, likely playing above his 4-goal handicap.
The new SD Farms comes to the field with a balanced line-up, led by 7-goaler Ignacio Laprida, along with: former 10-goaler Adam Snow, Cesar Polledo and patron Sayyu Dantata. Returning to the United States after another season with Cría Yatay in Argentina, Laprida is consistently one of the best defensive players on the field, preventing his opponents from breaking away for scoring opportunities.
Playing previously together in Santa Barbara, the trio of Snow, Polledo and Dantata are effective at creating offense through the pass, utilizing 2-goaler Dantata in the number 1 position to stretch the field. SD Farms will look to play a fast, open style of polo, using the defense of Snow and Laprida to quickly transition into offense where they can pressure their opponents via the pass. SD Farms will have a quick measuring stick to see where they fit among the teams in the field, as they play in the opening game of the Joe Barry tournament this Saturday against a Travieso team that exceeded expectations last season in their debut at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
3 pm: VDL Modere v. Colorado
Noon: Coca-Cola v. La Indiana
3 pm: Travieso v. Pilot
3 pm: Grand Champions Polo Club v. SD Farms
Times are local (U.S. Eastern). All games in the 2018 Joe Barry Cup will be live-streamed on USPA Polo Network: www.uspolo.org/video.