The U.S. Men’s National Team preliminary roster for the FIVB World League has been announced, with new and familiar faces gracing the team. John Speraw, U.S. Men’s Head Coach, saw that is was crucial to give younger players a chance to play in high-level international competitions, as well as give veteran players a rest.
In 2016, the U.S. Men finished fifth at the FIVB World League and took the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Currently, the squad is tied for a #2 world rank with Poland.
Among the new players entering the squad are four collegiate players that are finishing up their season or just recently ended their season. BYU has two players making the team in Jake Langlois and Ben Patch, who competed with the squad in 2016. Patch has expressed his intent to turn professional at the NCAA Tournament. Loyola-Chicago’s Jeff Jendryk and Long Beach State’s TJ DeFalco also made the roster. DeFalco was a member of the 2015 World League preliminary roster and more recently was selected as the AVCA Division I-II Player of the Year.
Patch, Langlois, and DeFalco are all competing in the NCAA Tournament and will play each other tonight in the semifinals.
Six players are returning from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team squad – setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, outside hitter Taylor Sander, libero Erik Shoji, middle blocker David Smith and setter Kawika Shoji, who will be the team’s captain.
Those not returning on this year’s roster are outside hitter Aaron Russell who suffered an injury with his club team, opposite Murphy Troy who has retired and outside hitter Reid Priddy who is playing beach volleyball this season. Also not starting with the squad are opposite Matt Anderson and middle blocker Max Holt, who are taking time off early in the season but are expected to be back for the USAV Cup. Three-time Olympic middle blocker David Lee is taking the season off.
Those not in college and making their debuts on the squad are Taylor Averill and Thomas Carmody.
Outside of the Olympians on the team, past World League members who made this year’s squad are opposite Carson Clark, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky, middle blocker Dan McDonnell, outside hitter Garrett Muagututia and libero Dustin Watten.
14 of the 18 players can be chosen for each World League weekend, as long as two players are designated liberos.
The official start date for training will be May 8 at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, California. The team’s first match will be against Serbia on June 2.
U.S. Men’s Preliminary Roster
|Tommy Carmody||Middle Blocker||6-9||Orland Park, Ill.||Pacific/Pepperdine|
|Taylor Sander||Outside Hitter||6-4||Huntington Beach, Calif.||BYU|
|Jeff Jendryk||Middle Blocker||6-10||Wheaton, Ill||Loyola-Chicago|
|James Shaw||Setter||6-8||Woodside, Calif.||Stanford|
|Kawika Shoji||Setter||6-3||Honolulu, Hawaii||Stanford|
|Jake Langlois||Outside Hitter||6-10||San Jose, Calif.||BYU|
|Thomas Jaeschke||Outside Hitter||6-6||Wheaton, Ill||Loyola-Chicago|
|Micah Christenson||Setter||6-6||Honolulu, Hawaii||USC|
|Dan McDonnell||Middle Blocker||6-6||Glendale, Ariz.||UC Irvine|
|Ben Patch||Opposite||6-8||Provo, Utah||BYU|
|Carson Clark||Opposite||6-6||Santa Barbara, Calif.||UC Irvine|
|Jayson Jablonsky||Outside Hitter||6-5||Yorba Linda, Calif.||UC Irvine|
|TJ DeFalco||Outside Hitter||6-5||Huntington Beach, Calif.||Long Beach State|
|Garrett Muagututia||Outside Hitter||6-5||Oceanside, Calif.||UCLA|
|Taylor Averill||Middle Blocker||6-7||San Jose, Calif.||Hawaii|
|David Smith||Middle Blocker||6-7||Saugus, Calif.||UC Irvine|
|Dustin Watten||Libero||6-0||Long Beach, Calif.||Long Beach State|
|Erik Shoji||Libero||6-0||Honolulu, Hawaii||Stanford|
- Head Coach: John Speraw
- Team Leader: Anton Brams
- Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
- Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
- Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
- Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
June 2: USA v Serbia at Novi Sad, Serbia
June 3: USA v Egypt at Novi Sad, Serbia
June 4: USA v Belgium at Novi Sad, Serbia
June 9: USA v Italy at Pau, France
June 10: USA v Russia at Pau, France
June 11: USA v France at Pau, France
June 15: USA v Iran at Katowice, Poland
June 17: USA v Russia at Lodz, Poland
June 18: USA v Poland at Lodz, Poland
July 4-8: Final Round in Curitiba, Brazil (top five teams qualify plus Brazil as host)