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BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Washington & Jefferson College head coach Nikola Malezanov and Brown University head coach Felix Mercado helped lead the United States Men’s Youth National Team to a Gold Medal at the 2024 PanAm Aquatics U19 Water Polo Championships in El Salvador.

The competition took place from May 20-26 at the Polideportivo de Ciudad Merliot in El Salvador as the United States defeated Uruguay, El Salvador, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Canada en route to the top of the podium. Team USA attacker Bode Brinkema was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament with 16 goals scored across six games.

Led by Malezanov as head coach with Mercado as an assistant coach, the Americans opened the tournament by dispatching Uruguay, 22-1, on May 21 behind five goals from Colt Bradley and a quartet by Gavin Conant.

A day later, Team USA solved host El Salvador, 14-1, as Tyler Anderson, Maddox Arlett, Seth Bousfield and Bradley each registered multiple goals.

The team’s momentum continued on May 23 with a 22-10 handling of Argentina as Bode Brinkema scored six times with Anderson tacking on four markers.  Nehemiah Pavoggi notched 10 saves in cage.

Facing Mexico on May 24, the Americans claimed a 22-3 victory as Maddox Arlett, Bradley, Reed Hanna and Corbin Stanley recorded hat tricks.

Taking on Brazil in the semifinals on May 25, Ben Forer scored five goals as the United States rallied from a three goal deficit to stun Brazil by a 16-15 count.

In the title game on May 26, Team USA turned back Canada, 10-7, as Brinkema and Gavin Appledorn tossed in five and three strikes, respectively.

Information courtesy USA Water Polo

Collegiate Water Polo Association