Athletics News

USA Water Polo National Team Athletes Compete With Clubs Around The Globe

Ashleigh Johnson, Maggie Steffens and Kiley Neushul competed for separate club teams in Europe this year.
Ashleigh Johnson, Maggie Steffens and Kiley Neushul competed for separate club teams in Europe this year.
April 25, 2018 Huntington Beach, CA - April 25 - As the final four teams battling for a championship in the LEN Women's Euro League gathered in Kirishi, Russia this past weekend there were three familiar faces on hand from Team USA. Ashleigh Johnson, Maggie Steffens and Kiley Neushul all helped Team USA to gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, but on this day they would be competing on three separate teams. Johnson was in the cage for the Orizzonte club of Italy, Neushul capped up for Club Natacio Sabadell of Sabadell, Spain and Steffens wore the uniform of UVSE of Budapest, Hungary. While it would be a fourth team, Kinef Kirishi, that would defeat Neushul's squad to win the title, the three Team USA athletes are just part of a large group of athletes playing for clubs around the world. 

Nine athletes from Team USA are playing for clubs in different countries including three members of the USA Men's Senior National Team and six members of the USA Women's Senior National Team. Chancellor Ramirez and Max Irving were teammates at UCLA and now have teamed up in Italy for the C.N. Posillipo Napoli club. Meanwhile Alex Bowen has spent multiple seasons abroad since finishing at Stanford University and is currently competing with MVLC Pannergy in Hungary. He was just named MVP of the Hungarian League and is currently the leading scorer. 

Neushul is joined in Spain by Alys Williams who competes for CN Sant Andreu in neighboring Barcelona while Steffens has Brigitta Games about 90 minutes away in Eger, Hungary suiting up for the ZF Eger club. The Team USA athlete the furthest from home is Rachel Fattal who is playing in Australia for the Hunter Hurricanes in Lambton, Australia. She has company as recently retired Rio teammate Sami Hill patrols the goal for the Drummoyne Water Polo Club in nearby Sydney. 

Athletes play abroad for a number of reasons including the opportunity for high level competition and a chance to immerses themselves in a new culture. 

Alys Williams offered her thoughts on playing in another country:

"If there are any players contemplating playing abroad, I would encourage them to do so! It is an incredible opportunity to travel the world while playing water polo, and you will meet some pretty amazing people on your journey. Not many people can say they had an experience like this, or were even offered the opportunity, so go for it! Embrace the new language, new culture, and new experience," added Williams. 

Best of luck to our Team USA athletes competing abroad and we look forward to seeing them back in the pool with Team USA this summer!

Alex Bowen - 2016 Olympian
Club: MVLC Pannergy
City: Miskolc, Hungary

Chancellor Ramirez
Club: C.N. Posillipo Napoli
City: Napoli, Naples, Italy

Max Irving
Club: C.N. Posillipo Napoli
City: Napoli, Naples, Italy

USA Women
Ashleigh Johnson - 2016 Olympian
Club: Orizzonte
City: Catania, Italy

Brigitta Games
Club: ZF Eger
City: Eger, Hungary

Kiley Neushul - 2016 Olympian
Club: Club Natció Sabadell
City: Sabadell, Spain

Rachel Fattal - 2016 Olympian
Club Team Name: Hunter Hurricanes
City: Lambton, Australia

Alys Williams
Club: CN Sant Andreu
City: Barcelona, Spain

Maggie Steffens - 2012 & 2016 Olympian
Club: UVSE
City: Budapest, Hungary



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