The United States revealed its official 18-man roster for the men’s World League Championships, beginning June 2 on Monday. The men, currently ranked second in the world, will be looking to secure their third World League gold medal, following 2008 and 2014 and improve on their fifth place finish at the last World Championships.
The roster features six members of the team which earned the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics: Taylor Sander, Kawika Shoji, Thomas Jaeschke, Micah Christenson, David Smith and Eric Shoji. Sander also was the 2014 World League MVP . Kawika Shoji will act as team captain.
The 18 players on the official squad are the same 18 on the preliminary roster announced May 4. In addition to the six Olympians, five other players have previous World League experience: outside hitters Jayson Jablonsky and Garrett Muagututia, opposite Carson Clark, middle blocker Dan McDonell and libero Justin Watten.
Several of the players are following up successful club or collegiate seasons, including AVCA Player of the Year TJ Falco from Long Beach State. Ben Patch and Jake Langlois of BYU were part of Cougars’ NCAA runner-up squad. Langlois recently signed his first pro deal with Gi Group Monza in the Italian Serie A.
Christenson won the Italian Serie A1 title with his Cucine Lube Civitanova squad May 8.
Fourteen of the 18 players can be chosen for each World League weekend, as long as two are designated liberos.
The U.S. National Team began training on May 8 and is set for a May 26 scrimmage at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, California, as part of a doubleheader with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The U.S. Men will play three matches each in Serbia, France and Poland from June 2 to June 18 in the World League opening rounds. The top five teams will qualify for a final round in Brazil, July 4-8.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster
|Tommy Carmody||Middle Blocker||6-9||Orland Park, Ill.||Pacific/Pepperdine||Vammalan Lentopallo|
|Taylor Sander||Outside Hitter||6-4||Huntington Beach, Calif.||BYU||Al-Arabi Sports Club|
|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||Lokomotiv Nobosibirsk|
|Jake Langlois||Outside Hitter||6-10||San Jose, Calif.||BYU|
|Thomas Jaeschke||Outside Hitter||6-6||Wheaton, Ill||Loyola-Chicago||Asseco Revoia SA|
|Micah Christenson||Setter||6-6||Honolulu, Hawaii||USC||Cucine Lube Civitanova|
|Dan McDonnell||Middle Blocker||6-6.||Glendale, Ariz.||UC Irvine||Chaumont VolleyBall|
|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||Muharraq Club|
|TJ DeFalco||Outside Hitter||6-5||Huntington Beach, Calif.||Long Beach State|
|Garrett Muagututia||Outside Hitter||6-5||Oceanside, Calif.||UCLA||Tianjin|
|Taylor Averill||Middle Blocker||6-7||San Jose, Calif.||Hawaii||SSCD Pallavolo Padova|
|David Smith||Middle Blocker||6-7||Saugus, Calif.||UC Irvine||WKS Czarni Radom|
|Dustin Watten||Libero||6-0||Long Beach, Calif.||Long Beach State||WKS Czarni Radom|
|Erik Shoji||Libero||6-0||Honolulu, Hawaii||Stanford||Lokomotiv Nobosibirsk|