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Luca Cupido, Alex Wolf named to U.S. Olympic men’s water polo team roster

Former Newport Harbor High School standout Luca Cupido was named to his second Olympic team Friday.
Former Newport Harbor High School standout Luca Cupido was named to his second Olympic team Friday.
(Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

Former Newport Harbor High school standout Luca Cupido and Huntington Beach High alumnus Alex Wolf can each start packing their bags.

Cupido and Wolf were both named to the U.S. Olympic men’s water polo team Friday, and will compete for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

It will be the second Olympics for Cupido, 25, an attacker who was also part of the U.S. team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Wolf, 24, makes his first appearance at the Olympic Games.

Cupido and Wolf were two of 13 athletes selected by U.S. head coach Dejan Udovicic. Team USA hopes for a better showing than its disappointing 10th-place finish in 2016.

“We had 19 players who played overseas,” Udovicic said in a statement. "[It was a] long period the last six to eight weeks, [including] common practices with European teams. I’m pleased and I’m very excited looking forward to Tokyo. The guys put in very hard work, and work ethic was always [at a] high level.

Cupido, the 2013 Daily Pilot Dream Team Boys’ Water Polo Player of the Year, went on to star for Cal. He was a four-time All-American who was the 2018 Cutino Award winner as the best college men’s water polo player in the nation.

He is one of five returners to the team along with five-time Olympian Jesse Smith, as well as Alex Bowen, Ben Hallock and Alex Obert.

Wolf is one of two goalkeepers on the roster, along with former Stanford standout Drew Holland.

After graduating from Huntington Beach High in 2016, he played at UCLA, where he was twice a first-team All-American and helped the Bruins win the 2017 national title.

Cupido and Wolf, both overseas, were unavailable for comment Friday. They helped Team USA earn silver at the FINA World League Super Final tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, this week, losing 9-8 to Montenegro in the championship match on Thursday.

The U.S. Olympic men’s water polo team opens play in Tokyo against host Japan on July 24.

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