Facundo Pieres is a great champion. He has won tournaments wherever he has played them: in Palermo, England, Spain, and — of course — the US. However, this was a special year, as Facundo won all three of the USPA's main tournaments, taking the Gauntlet of Polo along with Pilot. To finish an astonishing season, Facundo won the US Open once more.
"It was an amazing season, I don't know if I could ever repeat it," said Pilot's captain. "I do not think I ever had a season like it before in America, winning so many matches and playing so well. That is truly what happened, the team was good from the get-go to the end. We knew we were the team to defeat, and we never lost, especially in finals, we were solid. I am very happy."
About the reasons that they won so convincingly, Pieres said: "We had a great team, a good organization, and good horses, which helped both me and the team a lot. I do not know if it was my best season individually, but overall, for the team, organization and our focus, I think it was the best. It was three and a half months of being all-in, which is very demanding."
That is Facundo Pieres, America's 11-goaler.
"I learned from what happened last year in the US Open final"
No doubt, what happened in 2018 was present in Facundo Pieres' mind until recently. Only a year ago, Valiente was very close to winning all three of the USPA's top tournaments. However, they unexpectedly lost in the US final to Daily Racing Form, with the formation he shared with Adolfo Cambiaso, and which was considered by many the Dream Team.
"You always get more experienced. I am surprised how in this sport you never stop learning, and that is great," said Facundo Pieres to CLICKPOLOUSA.
What did he learn this year? Facundo’s answer: "I learned to win and lose. I learned from what happened last year in the US Open final. Even though we lost, we were only one match short from winning it all, with Valiente. It was a different season, with fewer teams, less competition, but having lost the final helped me, it was good for me. It was in my head throughout this entire season, I never forgot what had happened. It was a rematch of sorts for me. I did not want to lose in a final again, especially after such a good season, and having such a good chance to win. I had a lot of motivation to try to win."
"There has not been this much action in the US in years"
No one will forget how good 2019 was for American polo. Between the USPA's 22-goal cups, the World Polo League, and the lower handicap tournaments, these were the months with the most action in the history of American polo.
"It was an amazing season, in every sense of the word. There has not been this much action in the US in years. There were a lot of teams, players, people involved with polo, including vets, grooms... A lot of people working, lots of teams, lots of polo, and plenty of matches daily, sometimes even three, four, five matches a day, with both leagues! I think it was absolutely amazing, it has not been this good for a long time."
Facundo shares the best fact to quantify how successful the American season was: "I was talking with a friend last night and we figured out that, except for Joaco Pitaluga, who only played one match as a substitute, every player with 8-goals or more was playing in America. There were not any 8-goalers left behind in Argentina, and I do not think that has happened in a very long time."