ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN – Team USA, featuring former Golden Bear standout John Mann and future Cal star Luca Cupido finished fourth at the 2014 FINA World Cup Sunday, falling to Croatia, 8-6, in the tournament third place match in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Cupido, who will join Kirk Everist’s squad following the FINA Cup, tallied a goal in the bronze medal match, while Mann was named to the FINA Cup All-Tournament team.
Both Mann and Cupido had been stalwarts for the Americans. In a, 7-5, semifinal loss to Hungary on Saturday, Mann had notched two goals and Cupido one goal. In the quarterfinals on Friday, Mann was the United States’ hero in a penalty-shootout 11-9 overtime victory over Australia. Cupido also made a penalty shot during Team USA’s quarterfinal overtime victory over Australia.
Luca Cupido is the younger brother of former Bear Giacomo Cupido (2010-13), joined Mann with two goals in the quarterfinal win.
One of the top players in school history, the 6-6, 250-pound Mann was a 2012 USA Olympian at the London Games and the first Bear to capture the Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation’s top collegiate water polo player in 2006. The award was named after the former Cal water polo coaching legend, Peter Cutino. As a senior in ‘06, Mann led the Bears to a 31-4 record and both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and NCAA titles.
Luca Cupido is a 6-4, 190-pound attacker from Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. He was a 2013 first-team high school All-American at Newport Harbor High School and was a member of Italian squads that won gold medals at the 2013 LEN Junior European Championship and the 2013 FINA Junior World Championship.
The Cal men’s water polo team will begin its 2014 campaign Saturday, Sept. 6 at UC San Diego Triton Invitational, playing Air Force at 8:30 a.m. and host UC San Diego at 2:40 p.m.