Mosconi Cup Teams Announced

With the annual Mosconi Cup USA v Europe 9-ball clash slated for the MGM Grand, Las Vegas in December, promoters Matchroom Sport can announce the two sides to contest the 12th running of pool's most intense face-off.

The two sides go head-to-head from 15 - 18 December over four searing days of singles and doubles play in an event broadcast live throughout on Sky Sports in the UK and on delay by Fox Net in the States.

Team USA enters the fray as defending champions, following victories in Holland last year, and at the event's only other visit to Las Vegas, in 2003, when they came good following an amazing last day comeback.

There is just one debutant on the American side as Shawn Putnam, the 34 year-old from Youngstown, Ohio, caps a breakthrough season following two tournament victories on the UPA Tour.

There is a wealth of Mosconi Cup knowledge though from the other five members. With 28 Cup appearances between them, captain Johnny Archer knows that when the going gets tough, his team will have plenty of experience to draw on.

The full team is:
Johnny Archer (Georgia) Captain
Rodney Morris (Hawaii)
Shawn Putnam (Ohio)
Jeremy Jones (Texas)
Earl Strickland (North Carolina)
Charlie Williams (Florida)

"We've got another great team this year and we're really looking forward to defending our title on home soil, commented Archer.

"Most of the team knows what this is all about; nerves of steel and a clear head. Shawn has had a tremendous year and I know he is really looking forward to his first Mosconi Cup and will slot right into the side.

"We won't be under-estimating the Europeans though. They look to have a pretty good line up with plenty of ability. This could be our best-ever side; we've fantastic team spirit with enough individual talent to give it our best shot."

For the Europeans there are three changes as Mika Immonen makes his debut as captain in what will be his tenth Mosconi Cup. Double European Champion Alex Lely makes his second appearance a debut in 1999 and 2003 World Champion Thorsten Hohmann returns to the fray for a second appearance.

England's Raj Hundal, a recent winner of the World Pool Masters, makes his debut as Steve Davis steps down after 11 consecutive Mosconi appearances.

The full team is:
Mika Immonen (Finland) Captain
Marcus Chamat (Sweden)
Raj Hundal (England)
Thorsten Hohmann (Germany)
Niels Feijen (Holland)
Alex Lely (Holland)

Immonen is pleased to be finally wearing the captain's armband after playing a major role in the event over the past decade.

"It's a big job but I'm really looking forward to the challenge," he said. "We've got a fantastic set of players this year - probably the best team I can remember - and it's probably the youngest team ever to represent Europe.

"I've spoken to all the players and they cannot wait to get out to Las Vegas and really give it a go. We're probably less experienced as a team than the Americans but that may not be a bad thing.

"It's a young side and I really believe that we've got what it takes to upset the Americans and bring the Mosconi Cup home."

This is the 12th running of pool's answer to the Ryder Cup and the current score stands at 9 - 2 to the Americans.

Once again, the entire event will be live on Sky Sports in the UK as the two six man teams battle it out in a series of singles and doubles matches over four days.

The official sponsors of the 2005 Mosconi Cup are Brunswick Tables, Simonis Cloth, Super Aramith Pro Balls and Predator Cues.