David Smith
David Smith attacks during the 2021 Volleyball Nations League

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 3, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team is in Brasilia, Brazil, this week for the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL).  

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw and his staff have selected 14 players from the long list of 25 to compete in Brazil.  

Four Olympians are on the roster: middle blocker David Smith, outside hitters Aaron Russell and Thomas Jaeschke, and opposite Kyle Ensing. 

Four other players have VNL experience: middle Jeff Jendryk, opposite Jake Hanes, libero Kyle Dagostino and setter Josh Tuaniga. 

Newcomers to the VNL roster are setter James Shaw, middles Patrick Gasman and Tyler Mitchem, outside hitters Cody Kessel and Jacob Pasteur, and libero Mason Briggs. 

There will be a new face on the bench for the U.S. Men. Argentine Olympian and longtime pro club coach Javier Weber will serve as a second assistant for Speraw. 

Speraw and his staff are using VNL to evaluate young talent, but that does not change his expectations for the team. 

“Obviously the goal is to medal at VNL,” Speraw said. “We have done that many times over the years. No matter the level of experience with the group we are taking, the goal remains the same.” 

The FIVB announced in April that a team’s world ranking could play a role in qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Speraw knows that doing well at VNL will play a big role. 

“It’s an interesting conversation because it’s not really an (Olympic) quad, it’s a tri, or whatever you want to call it,” Speraw said. “We know these matches have Olympic qualification implications, which in previous quads it did not. It’s become more of a conversation with staff about how we handle these events moving forward.” 

After a challenging 2021 that saw them finish seventh in VNL and 10th at the Olympic Games, the U.S. Men, ranked No. 7 in the world, are ready to turn the page. In 2019, they took silver at VNL. 

The U.S. Men will open play on June 7 against Slovenia. On June 9, they will take on Netherlands. On June 10, they play Japan and on June 11, they take on host Brazil.

U.S. Men’s National Team 25-Person Roster for
2022 Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
3 James Shaw (S, 6-8, Woodside, Calif. Stanford, Northern California)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
5 Kyle Ensing (OPP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
7 Jacob Pasteur (OH, 6-4, Westminster, Md., Ohio State Univ., Chesapeake)
9 Jake Hanes (OPP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford Univ., Florida)
13 Patrick Gasman (MB, 6-10, Clovis, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern California)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine, Southern California)
21 Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)
27 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis Univ., Great Lakes)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer, Mike Wall, Javier Weber
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Sports Psychologist: Bernard Whitney
Team Doctor: James Suchy

U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2022 VNL (All times PDT)
All matches to be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv

Preliminary Round 1 – Brasilia, Brazil
June 7 at 5 p.m.
USA vs Slovenia

June 9 at 2 p.m.
USA vs Netherlands

June 10 at 2 p.m.
USA vs Japan

June 11 at 11 a.m.
USA vs Brazil

Preliminary Round 2 – Sofia, Bulgaria
June 22 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Serbia

June 23 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Iran

June 25 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Bulgaria

June 26 at 6:30 a.m.
USA vs Poland

Preliminary Round 3 – Osaka, Japan
July 4 at 11 p.m.
USA vs Germany

July 6 at 8 p.m.
USA vs France

July 8 at 11:40 p.m.
USA vs Canada

July 9 at 8:40 p.m.
USA vs Argentina

Final Round – Bologna, Italy
July 20-24