Photo credit: JP Parmentier/Matchroom Multi Sport
Justin Bergman was the first player named as a member of Team USA for this year’s Mosconi Cup. If the 2020 event is able to be held, Bergman would make his fifth appearance on the team. Bergman celebrated his first Mosconi Cup victory last year in Las Vegas with Team USA.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no ranking events have been staged since March. However, Matchroom Pool, and team captains Jeremy Jones and Alex Lely, decided to respect the achievements of players who had played the ranking events which had taken place prior to the pandemic. Therefore, it was agreed that the top player from both the U.S. and European rankings would automatically qualify to play in the Mosconi Cup, with the remaining four players selected as captain’s wildcards.
Bergman was the top-rated U.S. player based on the rankings.
Team USA Captain Jeremy Jones was pleased to see Bergman as Team USA’s automatic qualifier, and believes he’s a perfect fit for the roster.
“Bergman is one hell of a player, many have considered him one of the top three in the U.S. for some time,” said Jones. “It was good for me and good for Joey that he was at the top of the rankings, it worked out a good deal for (Team) USA.
“Some might say he’s a quiet guy, but when he speaks, it’s exactly what needs to be said. He has an incredible mind and has competed at a high level in big tournaments since he was a Junior. He always wants to play as well as the game will allow, and last year sometimes didn’t get the opportunities.”
Bergman went 1-3 in last year’s Mosconi Cup, and did not get a chance to play on the final day when Sky Woodward secured the victory early on Day 4 with a win over Joshua Filler.
Jones and Vice-Captain Joey Gray will now work with a group of seven players, including Bergman, to select the final four players on the team. That will include video coaching sessions and limited-contact sessions with Jones and Gray, restricted to no more than two players each time. That wider group features Shane Van Boening, Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Tyler Styer, Chris Robinson and Corey Deuel. Jones will begin selecting his first wildcards later this month.
“It will be one-on-one training, with three guys coming in this month and four more in September. We have the five players from last year, of course Justin is already on the team, and then we add Corey Deuel and Chris Robinson. Corey is full of experience and was on a winning team just two years ago, and Chris has been trending in the right direction, and both were right up there on the rankings.”
The Mosconi Cup will take place Dec. 1-4 at Alexandra Palace in London.
According to Matchroom, they are still hopeful and determined the Mosconi Cup will take place this year. They are in discussions with the relevant organizations and personnel to stay up to date. Matchroom indicated their highest priority is the safety of everyone connected with the event, and that they are working hard to explore every avenue to make the event happen.
Visit http://www.matchroompool.com/mosconi-cup/ for more info.