U.S. Men Aim For Third World League Gold with Veteran Roster

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

Name Position Height Hometown College Club
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

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