Mosconi Cup 20th Anniversary – Team Europe

The Mosconi Cup is on us again and 2013 is its 20th Anniversary. Who would have ever thought that from its humble beginning back in 1994, that it would be looked at today as arguably one of,  if not THE number one Pool Tournament in the World.
Over the first few years it changed its format several times until it settled on a five man team format, which has become firmly established over the years.
As Team USA has not won the Cup since 2009, this year is being looked upon as the year that the USA Team of Johnny Archer - Dennis Hatch - Shane Van Boening - Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris will regain the trophy!!!
Johnny is not only the Captain of Team USA, but is also the joint Team Coach with Veteran Buddy Hall, and it is expected that this vast wealth of knowledge will pull the team to their first win in four years.
However, Team Europe will have something to say to those aspirations I am sure. As the very strong team of Ralf Souquet (GER) - Darren Appleton (ENG) -  Niels Feijen (NED) Mika Immonen (FIN) and Karl Boyes (ENG) will be going forward full steam ahead to win their fourth year in a row!!!
Captain and Coach once again for Europe is Johan Ruysink (NED) looking for his fourth consecutive win!!
“Well, I guess it is a terrible feeling to be picked again after all those years, just kidding!!! 
No, for real, it’s an honor to be invited to represent Europe in this years 20th Anniversary Mosconi Cup. I played in the very first one and this will be my 16th appearance since the start in 1994.
Will it be any different than the ones before? Actually, every Mosconi Cup is somehow different from the others, because you never know what's coming. But, playing in the best event in the World of Billiards makes it always very special.” 
“This will be my 5th straight Mosconi Cup, winning the last 3 years and picking up MVP on the way. I am the only European to play in the last 5 years and am so very proud of that. It feels even more important this year to make the team than any other year, simply because it’s their 20th Anniversary and it’s going to be very special with bigger and better TV coverage and more fans. 
We are playing at a new venue this year and obviously the Americans want the Cup back more than ever, with it being the 20th Anniversary and because Europe has dominated the Mosconi Cup since 2006. Subsequently, they have pulled out all the stops and with it comes all the legends and Champions the USA can muster this year.
It is certainly a great honor to be in that class in European pool with the likes of Ralf and Mika. The Americans have got a very good team, but we are a GREAT TEAM and we work as a unit. Plus there will be no egos in our team and I believe our fundamentals and the break will be just too much for team USA!!
It's going to be very exciting this year, and I will be there at my best!!!!”
1. “The Mosconi Cup is the most prestigious event of the year to qualify for. Everybody wants to make the team and the competition gets harder every year! Since this year is the Legend Edition, I'm even more honored to make the team! This will be my 9th Mosconi Cup and this it’s 20th Year Anniversary makes it something very special! If you start out as a pro, which for me was around 14 years ago, you dream to make the team one day, so No 9 is the bomb!!
2. I think the best moment for me was winning the MVP in Vegas, but also to win the Mosconi Cup for the first time after 3 losses!! My worst memory was the 1-12 defeat in 2001. It was like we didn't even show up! Mika and I won the first match, and then we lost 12 in a row; it was a bad dream 3 days in a row!!
3. Our chances are great again this year. I'm joining 4 tremendous players Darren, Karl, Mika and Ralf and we know how to win! The 5 of us will be a tough cookie group! Then we have the best man to bring it all together, our undefeated Coach Johan Ruysink, who does amazing work with creating spirit, focus and sharpness. You could not ask for a better Mosconi Cup coach!! 
The break this year will be something we have to train hard before the event. The timing of the hit will be crucial to create the right action or have a bum result. Earl Strickland being back for Team USA will be great for the fans and atmosphere! 
Our team spirit and consistency are our strongest point!!!”
“Of course, it's an absolute honor to be on the team, especially as its their 20th Anniversary. Barry Hearn also celebrates his induction to the Hall of Fame, which will be nice to witness. I believe I've been to the Mosconi Cup 14 times before, so this will be my 15th appearance, which gives me a 75%  attendance. 
The Europeans have been very dominating the last few years and I'm determined to play hard to continue on that path. We have a great team again this year. Of course, Johan, the skipper is amazing, too. I am really looking forward to it!!”
“To be picked for the 20th Anniversary Mosconi Cup is such an honor and a privilege. After playing in my first Mosconi Cup in 2010, I realized it's where I wanted to be. To be a part of the European Mosconi Cup Team, and everything that came with it, was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. 
In April 2011 our little girl Georgie J was born and I decided it was time to be a dad, as everyone kept telling me just how precious they are at that age, and how time goes by so quickly. Because of that decision I missed ranking events, and even the events that I attended I was not prepared for, and my rankings dropped!! 
Georgie is 2 years old now and I have seen her grow up on a daily basis, but  had I stayed on the road I would of missed all of this. Now, I am juggling my pool around Georgie.  It's all coming together nicely; I will only play the major tournaments and the ones I like from now on and judging by my results from this limited schedule its been a pretty good year (hence my Mosconi Cup call up)!!!
This years Mosconi Cup will be a very special one, because Matchroom Sports have made sure team USA are bringing there best team. Earl’s back on the team, which will be great for the Mosconi Cup and the fans. He is either loved or hated, but you can't deny he is a genius on a pool table !!
One thing you can be sure of is that this full time papa and part time pool player will be ready!!!!
Imagine if I just traveled playing pool all year round, I’d be dangerous!!!!”