US line up for Men's World Grand Champions Cup announced
Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 13, 2013 – USA Volleyball has announced the fourteen player line up for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Grand Champion Cup scheduled to take place from November 19 to 24 in Japan. The fourteen players are currently training at the Japanese Institute of Sports Science in Tokyo in preparation for the event.
The US qualified for the World Grand Champions Cup by winning the 2013 NORCECA Continental Championship in September. Eleven members of the team in Japan are from that NORCECA squad. The 14-player roster will most likely be cut to 12 prior to the start of the competition.
“The Grand Champions Cup is a wonderful validation for a summer of very hard work,” said the US men’s coach, John Speraw. “It’s a culmination of a lot of effort. The guys that earned the right to go had the right to be on the roster and compete for a spot.”
The 11 players returning from the NORCECA Championship roster are outside hitters Matt Anderson, Jeff Menzel, Reid Priddy and Sean Rooney; middle blockers Futi Tavana, David Lee and Max Holt; opposites Carson Clark and Murphy Troy; setter Micah Christenson and libero Erik Shoji.
The three players who did not compete at NORCECA, but did compete extensively in the 2013 FIVB World League are outside hitter Paul Lotman, middle blocker David Smith and setter Kawika Shoji.
While Anderson served as US team captain for World League and Rooney handled the duties at the NORCECA Championship, Speraw said he hadn’t even considered who would be captain in Japan.
“If I had the option, I wouldn’t have (a captain) at all,” Speraw said. “I don’t believe one person has sole responsibility for leadership on the team. A bar underneath the number doesn’t determine who leads the team.”
There are six Olympians on the 14-player roster led by Priddy who is a three-time Olympian and won a gold medal in 2008. Rooney and Lee are two-time Olympians who also both won gold medals in 2008. Anderson, Lotman and Smith all made their Olympic debuts in 2012.
Christenson, a junior at the University of Southern California, will make his debut in an FIVB event with the senior national team in Japan.
The US men’s team will face Japan’s men’s national team while training in Tokyo. They will travel to Kyoto on November 17 for the competition, which begins November 19.
Fourteen-Player Roster for FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup
1. Matt Anderson