FIL Italia Lax Update #1


Editor’s Note: Welcome Rob and Mark Fortunato to LAS!  They’ll be filling us in a bit on how things are going for the Italian National Team over in Manchester… new program racking up the wins.  Not too shabby!

Greetings from Manchester!

The trip to England has been a wonderful experience for the Italian- American boys Tim Fuchs, Tom Wilmot, and my brother (Rob) and I (Mark Fortunato)!  We arrived Thursday morning in England after a seven hour flight from JFK International Airport. My brother and I came directly from work in NYC and needless to say, we had some difficulty transporting 6 bags from the good ol’  U.S. of A to England.  The airport customs ended up losing our 3 main bags, but we received them literally 30 minutes before game time.  Total disaster averted!

Hopefully Fortch is using this wand I dyed up for him!

Once we got here, we weren’t surprised that the Italians on our team are an absolute pleasure to hang with!  They have been teaching us Italian everyday and whether we understand them or not, they still like talking to us in Italian.

The U.S.A. vs. Canada game was an extremely memorable experience, especially for the Italians, because they had the chance to see the greatest players in the World compete right in front of their eyes.  The Italians on our team learn very quickly and have been adjusting quite well to the higher level of play. The Italian National Anthem has caused buzz around the tournament due to everyone on the team singing with our arms around each other… here is the anthem itself, but there is actual video of us soon to come!

The tourney staff has been great and the tournament has been organized very well— we get meals three times a day (while they are not the best meals ever,  the curry looks the same going in as it does going out— and “Curry Mile”, a Manchester staple, is right down the street—lucky us!!)

We also took a trip after our win against Mexico to the infamous Manchester United Stadium. It was quite an experience, however Rob and Tim feel that UVA’s Klockner Stadium has it beat!  We ran into the great Richie Moran on the elevator– it was a pleasure meeting him an he was very friendly to all of us.

Monday marked the first international win for the Native Italians— and it was a very special moment for us to be a part of. Since our win against Mexico we have gone on to beat Argentina and most recently, Switzerland, in a very close match—- 7- 6.  As we keep playing, we will continue to provide an update from Team Italia”s Camp in rainy Manchester.

In non-lacrosse related stuff, in the coming days we plan to take a little trip over to Scotland for some castles and some high quality golf—should be an awesome time. Rob and I will also be jumping over to London to visit our sister Melissa, but before all that can happen we will be facing Slovakia tomorrow afternoon!

Fratelli d italia!

Mark, Rob, Tim & Tom

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  1. As a second generation Italian American and a huge lax fan, I have been watching the performance of the Italians quite closely. Of course, this is still an American, Canadian, and Native American sport at this time, but it will continue to improve in the other countries as well. I have three boys who were captains of their nescac lacrosse teams spanning the last four years. Two played for Tufts, two speak italian, and all four of their grandparents came from Calabria.

    Please tell me the qualifications before being allowed to try out for the Italian National team in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup games in Denver, CO.