Cancun, Mexico - In a dazzling display of skill, determination, and team spirit, Team USA emerged victorious at the Pan American Amateur Padel Championships from November 25 to 28 at the vibrant Journey Arena in Cancun, Mexico. This historic win is a significant milestone for Padel in the United States and solidifies Team USA’s presence on the international stage.
Initially slated for Acapulco, Mexico, the Pan Americano Libres Championship found a new home in Cancun after Hurricane Otis wreaked havoc on the original venue. The tournament, organized by the American Padel Federation (APF), featured top amateur players from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Ecuador and showcased the growing influence of Padel across the Americas.
In a format where pairs earned points for their respective countries, Team USA demonstrated strength across the entire team. The women's team secured victory in three categories and was runner-up in a fourth. The men's team fought valiantly, reaching the finals in three out of five categories. The USA finished with 152 points ahead of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
The management team comprised Head Coach Luis Fernando Ramirez, Coach Angel Espadas, Player Coach Mariana Talarico, and Delegate Armando Rodiel. They played a pivotal role in orchestrating this victory through their coaching and creating the fantastic team spirit shown throughout the championships.
Luis Fernando Ramirez expressed his pride in the team's commitment. “From the first day, the atmosphere within the team was unbeatable,” he said. “We were all committed and dedicated to making a significant impact and letting the padel world know the USA is here to compete. I am super proud of the players, a group of champions that competed with pride and earned everyone's respect. The victory is the beginning of something special. We have the world championships next year, and we will need everyone's support as we plan to rewrite history for Padel in the USA!”
Padel Lux, Padel Haus, and VanEcks' support as Team USA Gold Level sponsors was essential to the victory. These sponsors came together and provided invaluable financial support for the team to allow them to travel to the championships. Without each of them, this victory would not have been possible. Bullpadel, the uniform sponsor, also added a touch of unity to Team USA's victorious journey.
Coach Mariana Talarico shared her joy, highlighting the team's spirit on and off the court. “For many years, I have had the honor of being able to participate for Team USA in World Cups and Pan American Games,” she said. “Until today, the rest of the countries were not ‘afraid’ of us, but today, history took a turn. This was achieved thanks to the impressive team of players who stand out in their sports abilities and human personality. Over the past five days, the group's spirit was beautiful, full of joy and good vibes. I am very proud of this group of players.”
Reflecting on the historic achievement, Angel Espadas expressed his gratitude. "Thank you for letting me fulfill my dream: since I was a child watching the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, I wanted to be a champion, see the American flag rise, and hear the anthem,” he said. “I never imagined it would come true."
Delegate Armando Rodiel was almost speechless when he summed up the incredible moment. "We are champions,” he said. “We are the champions of the Pan Americano Libres for the first time in history. Wow!"
"Team USA's remarkable victory at the Pan Americano Libres is a moment of immense pride for all of us. I am deeply moved by our player's dedication, skill, and spirit. This triumph is not just their own but a testament to the collective hard work and commitment of the Team USA Committee, our coaches, and delegates, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this dream a reality. I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our National Team sponsors - Padel Haus, Padel Lux, and VanEck - whose invaluable support has been pivotal in this journey. This historic win is a beacon of inspiration and a reflection of our shared passion for the sport of Padel." - Martin Sweeney, President, United States Padel Association.
The journey to victory began with a spectacular opening ceremony marked by fireworks, mariachi music, and the presence of sports luminaries. Alejandro Luna López set the stage for fierce competition, emphasizing the commitment of the players to represent their countries with honor and dignity.
The local support for the Mexican teams added intensity to the matches, creating an electrifying atmosphere. Team USA remained focused and determined despite the challenges and ultimately achieved their desired goal.
The outstanding performance of Team USA drew attention and admiration, not only from fans but also from key figures in the Padel world. Eric Arcila Arjona, President of Codeq, Diego Miller, President of the American Padel Association, Jorge Mañe, President of the Mexican Padel Federation, and Aldo Vidal, President of the Padel Association of Quintana Roo, were among the esteemed guests at the tournament.
As the Pan American Padel Championship ends, Team USA stands tall as champions and trailblazers in the Padel world. This victory cements their place in history, and with the world championships on the horizon, the journey for Team USA has only just begun.
Congratulations to Team USA for an extraordinary feat in the heart of Cancun, genuinely making this Pan American Championship a triumph in paradise.
Team USA players are partially selected based on their performance in Chosen Foods USPA National Circuit. Chosen Foods has long been a valued supporter of the USPA and in the overall growth of Padel in the USA.
Matias Hernan Segura
Vinny Nahuel Di Francesco Calderon
Leonardo Agustín Di Francesco Calderón
Enrique Flores Ruiz
Gabriel Flores Ruiz
Larry Boniface Pascal
Juan Pablo Coca Bacardi
Natalia Di Biasi
Carolina de Altube
Ana Marija Zubori
Mariana Talarico – Player and Coach
Maria Betania Dufur
Armando Rodiel - Delegate
Luis Fernando Ramirez - Head Coach
Angel Espadas - Coach