Wilson names Mosconi Cup USA Squad

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FOLLOWING ON from his appointment in January, 2014 USA PartyPoker Mosconi Cup captain Mark Wilson today names his squad of eight players who will be tasked with winning pool’s most prestigious team trophy for the first time since 2009.
Wilson has opted for a blend of experience and youth and his eight-man squad will be reduced down to the five who will travel to Blackpool, England at the end of November to contest the 21st annual Mosconi Cup.
Head of the pack and named as one of his two vice-captains is Shane Van Boening, who will be making his eighth appearance in the event. The 30 year-old South Dakota native said, "I have been looking forward to another chance to win in the biggest setting. Winning is what I am focused on every day, and I want this one more than ever.”
Wilson added, “Any reasonable person who was building a new team would look to have Shane to build around given his professionalism and success.  Even more importantly, his character and principles are just the thing for new players to emulate.  He sets a great example, and I expect to rely on him for leadership this year.
“He routinely excels against the strongest players and deepest fields.  He exemplifies the work ethic, sportsmanship, and proficiency expected from all members of the team.  Team USA could not have a better leader on the table.”
Looking to make his second appearance in the Mosconi Cup after being a member of the team that successfully retained the trophy in 2006 is ‘Mr 400’ John Schmidt. The 40 year old, now residing in California, is the oldest member of the squad and is thrilled at the prospect, "Being chosen for this Team USA and the chance to play for a Mosconi Cup is the most humbling experience and the biggest honor of my life."
Wilson is delighted to be resurrecting Schmidt’s Mosconi Cup prospects; “I am pleased with what John brings to the table beyond his stellar play. He is passionate about pool and a very approachable person.  He is blessed with a keen sense of humor and does not take himself too seriously. He comes up with very thought provoking points for consideration and positive suggestions that will be quite a plus for our team." 
Looking to make his eighth appearance is Prince of Pool, Corey Deuel, who is hoping to add to his three Mosconi Cup wins.
"The last time that I played was the last time that the US won and I have some new ideas to offer for preparation of this year's team - concepts that I will share with every team member. The Blackpool venue is so inspiring that I can hardly wait for December."
The 36 year-old who is also an active snooker player, was an easy choice for the captain; “I felt that he has not only experience but also a youthful exuberance and fresh perspective that were too compelling for him not to be included. I view Corey as a huge asset to our team.”
The fourth member of the squad is 30 year-old Brandon Shuff who received a Mosconi Cup baptism of fire at the York Hall on his only previous appearance in 2012.
"This guy has a ton of heart along with a great work ethic, and will be primed for a great year,” said Wilson. “He puts himself out there by playing many events throughout the US and I am pleased to have him on the team."
Shuff is under no illusions as to the job in hand; "Team USA has a lot to prove this year and I believe I can be a valuable asset to our team's structure. I believe in Mark Wilson and the future of pool, and am willing to do whatever it takes to bring the Mosconi Cup home."
The first of the potential debutants is the highly-rated Justin Hall, the 26 year-old from Palm Harbor, Florida.
"I have known of this kid’s talent and all-round skills for years, and now is the time that all of his previous success and experience will make the difference," said Wilson.
A proven champion at both banks and one-pocket, Hall is determined to take his chance, “I always wanted to make the Mosconi Cup team, and now that the opportunity is here, I will further intensify my training. I love being under pressure to perform and am looking forward to both the challenge to make the final five, and the opportunity to win on the biggest stage."
Another Mosconi Cup veteran hoping to return to the fray is California’s Oscar Dominguez, who was part of 2009’s winning team on his only other appearance.
"The pinnacle of my career was the 2009 Mosconi Cup victory; it was quite an amazing experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the team in 2014,” said Dominguez.
“I'm looking forward to working with Mark Wilson and the seven other great players selected. I feel I'm a better, more seasoned, and smarter player than in 2009 and I am eager to start the preparation for a Mosconi Cup victory in 2014.”
Wilson added, "Oscar epitomizes the new face of the sport - positivity, work ethic, passion, and great attitude. I played many times against his father Ernesto, and I knew this kid would be an ideal candidate. Beyond being respectful he is just the kind of guy that I would want by my side in combat.”
The second rookie in the squad is 26 year-old Justin Bergman who hails from Fairview Heights in Illinois. Justin has many regional victories and one major tournament win in the One Pocket division at the Southern Classic in 2012.
"Justin has been a good player since childhood; able to break and run out a rack on a 9' table since he was just 11 years-old. Given his recent form he will generate some real excitement and quite possibly shake up the pool hierarchy,” said Mark Wilson.
Bergman added, "I have only dreamed of ever making Team USA and going to the Mosconi Cup. I have been very dedicated the last couple of years and feel that I am improving and getting results. This is the next step."
The final piece in the Team USA jigsaw puzzle is Connecticut-based rookie Jeremy Sossei. One of the strongest players in the northeast, he has many regional tournament victories, and strong showings against some of the best players in the world.
Wilson commented, "Jeremy is a solid candidate that tends to let his cue do the talking. I feel that he may have been overlooked in the past and I am thrilled to have him as a team member.  He will contribute a great deal to the US effort in 2014."
The 34 year-old said, "Getting the call to possibly represent the USA in the Mosconi Cup has been a dream come true. I'm ecstatic! I've been working hard on my game the last couple of years and I believe I'm ready. With team work we can get the Cup back."
As well as Shane Van Boening, Mark Wilson has named DON WARDELL MD as his second Vice-Captain.
The 60 year-old is a practicing physician with a passion for billiards. Wardell has a strong interest in billiards history, sports medicine, training techniques, and biomechanics. He will be assisting Mark Wilson throughout the preparation over the coming months as well as in Blackpool when the event gets underway.
The 2014 PARTYPOKER.COM Mosconi Cup is sponsored by PartyPoker.com, the world's leading online poker site. The Official Table of the Mosconi Cup is supplied by Diamond Billiards, the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue and Mosconi Cup clothing is supplied by Universe.
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