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Elings Aquatics Center Welcomes Schroeder, Olympic Water Polo Team

San Marcos High and Pepperdine alum's U.S. men's team will play an exhibition game Sunday at Dos Pueblos High.

Hot off an upset 8-5 victory over reigning world champions Croatia, the U.S. men’s Olympic water polo team comes to the Elings Aquatic Center on Sunday.

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Terry Schroeder, a San Marcos High graduate, is now head coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic water polo team. (South Coast Community Aquatic Center photo)

The U.S. squad will square off against Australia’s Olympic team and inaugurate international play at the South Coast’s newest Olympic-size aquatic facility, at Dos Pueblos High.

The game, scheduled for 4 p.m., is open to the public and provides a unique opportunity to watch Olympic-caliber competition as the teams complete their training before departing for the Beijing Olympics in a few weeks.

The event is a homecoming of sorts for head coach Terry Schroeder. A San Marcos High and Pepperdine star, Schroeder is a four-time water polo Olympian who served as a model for the now-iconic bronze Olympic statue, commissioned for the 1984 Summer Games, that stands in front of the Los Angeles Coliseum. He helped lead the U.S. water polo teams that took silver medals in Los Angeles in 1984, and Seoul, South Korea, in 1988. He also carried the American flag at the closing ceremonies in Seoul.

Schroeder now hopes to lead his team to similar honors with the help of two local players: Brian Alexander from Cambria, an All-American who played for UCSB, and Jeff Powers, a 2004 Olympian from San Luis Obispo.

All proceeds from the game and a barbecue that follows go to the U.S. Olympic team. Tickets can be purchased at the gate starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Attendees are welcome to bring deck chairs. Fans also can join the teams after the game for a barbecue dinner, and V.I.P. seating at the game is available. Prices are as follows:

  • Reserved V.I.P. game seating — $20 per person in advance, $25 at the gate.
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  • Barbecue dinner with the teams — $20 adult, $15 students and $5 kids plate.
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  • V.I.P. group of 10 package — $500 donation includes reserved V.I.P. game and barbecue seating, 10 “Bound for Beijing” T-shirts, and pick your favorite player to join you for dinner (limited availability).
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  • Join Team USA — $1,000 donation lets you sit on the bench, join team meetings and be part of the action. Three participants will be on the bench next to the members of the 2008 men’s Olympic team. Includes signed ball and ticket for the game.
  • Click here to read more about the May 31 game at Westlake Village against Croatia.

    Susan Deacon is president of the South Coast Community Aquatic Center.

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