UPDATE: The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team plays Canada for fifth place at the Paralympic Qualification Tournament on Saturday at 3 a.m. CT. Watch LIVE at https://sportdeutschland.tv
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 28, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team is finally on its way.
It is finally time for the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Final Paralympic Qualification Tournament in Duisburg, Germany. Competition will take place June 1-5, although the U.S. Men begin play on June 2 with two pool play matches. Only the winning team will advance to the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Like many events, this one was supposed to be in 2020. And it was supposed to be at the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team’s home court at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the qualifier was postponed and moved more than once, eventually to Duisburg in June.
The team is just happy it will get a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, to be held Aug. 24-Sept. 5, 2021.
“It’s not what we originally hoped for, but we are going to go and play our best,” U.S. Head Coach Greg Walker said. “These guys are more than ready to go.”
The United States is sending nine players to the qualifier. Seven have Paralympic experience.
Three-time Paralympian Roderick Green (2000 and ’04 with track, ’16 with volleyball) is team captain. He will be joined by two-time Paralympian Eric Duda (2004 with standing volleyball, ’16 with sitting), John Kremer (2016), J Dee Marinko (2016), Dan Regan (2016), James Stuck (2016) and Charlie Swearingen (2016).
Zach Upp and Nick Dadgostar are going for their first Paralympic Games.
The tournament field decreased by one in March as Latvia pulled out.
Ukraine is the highest ranked team in the tournament at No. 5. The U.S. Men are No. 7 in the world. The U.S. Men played Ukraine twice in the 2019 Netherlands tournament. Although the U.S. lost both matches 3-0, it kept the sets close.
Among the teams in Pool B, the U.S. Men have played Canada and Germany the most. Team USA went 4-1 against Canada in a five-match exhibition in 2019. It went 1-1 against Germany in the Netherlands tournament.
“If we can finish second in our pool, I like our chances in the crossover,” Walker said. “After that, anything can happen.”
All matches are being live streamed at https://sportdeutschland.tv
No Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
2 Dan Regan (OH, 6-0, Edmond, Okla.)
3 Nicholas Dadgostar (L, 6-0, Sydney, Neb.)
5 Eric Duda (S/OH, 6-5, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
8 James Stuck (S/OH, 6-5, New Kensington, Pa.)
11 Roderick Green (MB, 6-3, West Monroe, La.)
13 Charlie Swearingen (MB, 6-3, Gulfport, Miss.)
14 John Kremer (L, 5-9, Buford, Ga.)
17 Zach Upp (OH, 6-5, Bartlett, Ill.)
18 J Dee Marinko (OH, 6-4, Norman, Okla.)
Head Coach: Greg Walker
Assistant Coaches: Joe Skinner, Kyle Homeyer
Team Manager: David Dantes
Technical Coordinator: Justin Chang
Athletic Trainer: Brian Farr
Crossover matches Live Stream Link
Semifinals Live Stream Link
3 a.m. CT Fifth-Place: USAvCAN
6 a.m. CT Bronze: UKRvCRO
9 a.m. CT Gold: KAZvGER Live Stream Link