U.S. Men Will Need Stamina for World League Schedule

May 04, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 4, 2007) - The U.S. Men's National Team will need to save its strength to make it through its 2007 FIVB World League schedule.

From May 26-June 16, the team will play two matches per weekend in the United States and in France, Japan and Italy. Moreover, the U.S. matches, even though they are considered "at home" will still require the team to travel away from its headquarters at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, Calif.

If the U.S. Men make it to the finals, there will be another trip, July 11-15 to Katowice, Poland.

"We focus a lot on recovery," said U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand). "We focus on trying to help deal with jet lag and strategies to help with physiological recovery.

"The main thing you've got to do is deal with it. It's a very difficult schedule. It's really, really good for our team to be playing matches against these opponents."

The FIVB World League is an elite men's volleyball competition in which the world's best teams are divided into four pools and play for six straight weekends. Winners from each pool go on to the finals, along with the finals host country (Poland) and a wild-card pick. The 2007 FIVB World League will be an important tune-up for the U.S. Men as they prepare for qualifying events for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The other teams in Pool B with Team USA are Italy, ranked No. 2 in the world, France, ranked seventh, and Japan, which is ranked 10th.

The U.S. Men, ranked eighth in the world, will square off twice against France at 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 26 and at 5 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 27 at the University of Portland Chiles Arena..

The following weekend, Team USA will move on to the Resch Center in Green Bay to face Japan at 7 p.m. CT on both Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2.

The weekend of June 8-9 will find the team in France playing at the Palais des Gerland in Lyon.

Then it's back to the United States to face Italy on June 15-16 at the Convocation Center on the campus of Chicago State University. Match times are 7 p.m. CT on June 15 and 5 p.m. on June 16.

June 23-24 will find Team USA at the Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium in Japan. The following weekend, it will spend June 29 in Napoli facing Italy at the PalaBarbuto and July 1 facing the Italians again at the Pal Del Mauro in Avelino.

Fans will be able to watch the World League matches played in the United States on ESPNU on a tape-delayed basis.

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 U.S. World League Schedule

May 26-27: USA vs. France, at the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore.

June 1-2: USA vs. Japan, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

June 8-9: USA at France, at the Palais des Gerland in Lyon

June 15-16: USA vs. Italy, at the Convocation Center in Chicago, Ill.

June 23-24: USA at Japan at the Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium

June 29: USA at Italy at the PalaBarbuto in Napoli

July 1: USA at Italy at the Pal Del Mauro in Avelino

July 11-15: World League Finals in Katowice, Poland