COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 3, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team preliminary roster for the FIVB World League is missing some familiar faces while other players will get key international experience.
It is important to give young players experience while also resting some of the veterans, U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw said.
“There are some very talented, young players on the roster,” he said. “All these guys have great potential.”
The U.S. Men finished fifth at the 2016 FIVB World League and went on to win the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. They are tied for the No. 2 world ranking with Poland. The team will officially begin its summer training block on May 8 at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, Calif.
“When I reflect on the entirety of the 2016 quadrennial, I think of how we started out and how we finished and how different it was,” Speraw said. “I think about how great our young players were when it mattered.”
Six players return from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team that won the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro: setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, outside hitter Taylor Sander, libero Erik Shoji, middle blocker David Smith and setter Kawika Shoji, who will also serve as team captain.
Among the 2016 Olympians not on the list: Outside hitter Aaron Russell suffered an injury while training with his club team and will not be available. Opposite Murphy Troy has retired. Outside hitter Reid Priddy is playing beach volleyball.
Opposite Matt Anderson and middle blocker Max Holt are taking some time off early in the season, but are expected to return later this year to play in the USAV Cup.
“Both have had long, grueling season overseas,” Speraw said. “They have taken so many swings for their club teams and for Team USA. We need to take care of their health.”
Three-time Olympic middle blocker David Lee will take the season off.
Players making their first World League preliminary roster are middle blockers Taylor Averill, Thomas Carmody and Jeff Jendryk and outside hitter Jake Langlois.
Four players on the preliminary roster are still playing in college or have recently finished their college careers.
Langlois is in his senior season at BYU, which has made it to the NCAA Men’s Division I-II National Championship tournament in Columbus this week. Jendryk just finished his junior season at Loyola of Chicago.
Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco, who made the 2015 World League preliminary roster, is finishing his sophomore season with Long Beach State, which will also compete in the NCAA tournament. Opposite Ben Patch, who made the 2016 World League preliminary roster, is finishing his junior season with BYU. He has said he will turn professional following the NCAA tournament.
Setter James Shaw has made past preliminary rosters but has not made a traveling team.
Besides the Olympians, the veterans of past World League campaigns on the roster are opposite Carson Clark, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky, middle blocker Dan McDonnell, outside hitter Garrett Muagututia and libero Dustin Watten.
Fourteen players can be chosen from the 18-man roster for each World League weekend, as long as two of the players are designated liberos.
2017 FIVB World League
U.S. Men’s Preliminary Roster
1. Tommy Carmody (MB, 6-9, Orland Park, Ill., Pacific/Pepperdine)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
5. James Shaw (S, 6-8, Woodside, Calif., Stanford)
7C. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
9. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
13. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
16. Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. TJ DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 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
U.S. Men’s World League Schedule
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)