ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 30, 2007)
-- Nine Olympians, including three who have competed in multiple Olympic Games, highlight the U.S. Men's roster of 18 for the 2007 FIVB World League competition.
Before each weekend of World League, U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon will choose which 12 players will compete from the list of 18. The roster of 12 can be updated before each weekend of matches.
Lloy Ball (Woodburn, Ind.) a three-time Olympic setter re-joins the U.S. Men's National Team for the first time since the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Veteran middle blockers Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) have each played in the last two Olympics.
The other players on the roster who played in Athens are middle blocker Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.), outside hitters Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) and Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and opposites Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i).
There are also two players who are joining the U.S. Men's Team roster for the first time: outside hitters Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.).
Rooney played for Pepperdine in 2001-05. In 2005, he was named the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Year for men's volleyball after leading the Waves to the NCAA Championship.
In 2005-06, he hit the beach and played on the AVP tour. However, he has kept his indoor skills sharp while playing in Korea.
Rooney also played with the U.S. Junior National Team in 2000 and with the U.S. team for the World University Games in 2003.
Nielsen played at Cal State Northridge and finished his college career in 2005 as a member of the U.S. World University Games team. He joined the U.S. Men's Training Team in 2006.
"This is a group with a nice mix of experience and youth," McCutcheon said. "We look forward to seeing how they come together for the competition."
The U.S. Men's National Team will begin its World League competition on May 26-27, when it will face France in Portland, Ore. Other U.S. World League matches will be played June 1-2 in Green Bay, Wis., against Japan and June 15-16 in Chicago, Ill., against Italy.
The U.S. Men will play six straight weekends of World League tournaments from May 26-June 30. The World League finals are set for July 11-15 in Katowice, Poland. Only the pool winner is guaranteed to advance to the finals.
The U.S. World League home matches are presented by GL7, the Official Sports Drink of USA Volleyball.
The USA Volleyball FIVB World League web site is at www.usavolleyball.org/national/wl07.asp.
The FIVB World League Web Site is at www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2007.
2007 FIVB World League
U.S. Men's Roster
(No., Name, Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Lloy Ball (S, 6-8, Woodburn, Ind., Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Jim Polster (OH, 6-6, Laguna Niguel, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 Brandon Taliaferro (S, 6-5, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
7 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
11 Brook Billings (OPP, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., USC)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Gabe Gardner (OH, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
16 Dave McKienzie (OH, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)
17 Delano Thomas (MB, 6-7, Sacramento, Calif., Hawai'i)
18 Nils Nielsen (OH, 6-4, Fallbrook, Calif., Cal State Northridge)