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Roster of 14 Revealed for Men's GCC

Nov. 12, 2013, 5 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 12, 2013) – Fourteen U.S. Men’s National Team players are training at the Japanese Institute of Sports Science in Tokyo this week in preparation for the 2013 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on Nov. 19-24 in Japan.

Sean Rooney holds up the trophy as the U.S. Men celebrate their NORCECA Championship
   The U.S. Men celebrate their NORCECA Championship victory.

The U.S. Men qualified for the 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.

“Grand Champions Cup is wonderful validation for a summer of very hard work,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “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 U.S. 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 (Richmond, Va.), who is a three-time Olympian and won a gold medal in 2008. Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Lee (Alpine, Calif.) are two-time Olympians who also both won gold medals in 2008. Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Smith (Saugus, Calif.) 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 U.S. Men’s Team will scrimmage Japan’s men’s national team while training in Tokyo. It will travel to Kyoto on Nov. 17 for the competition, which begins Nov. 19.

Fourteen-Player Roster for FIVB World Grand Champions Cup

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Sean Rooney (OH, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
13. Futi Tavana (MB, 6-7, Kalaheo, Hawaii, BYU)
14. Jeff Menzel (OH, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-8, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
19. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

Head Coach: John Speraw (Los Angeles)
Team Manager:  Andrea Becker (Martinez, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert (Berlin, Germany)
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) 
Assistant Coach: Mike Wall (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Gary Moy (San Francisco, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Tim Pelot (Florida)
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Doctor: Andrew Gregory (Nashville, Tenn.)

FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup Schedule
(all times Pacific Standard)

Nov. 18-19
7:10 p.m.: Italy vs. Russia
11:10 p.m.: Iran vs. Brazil
2:10 a.m.: USA vs. Japan
Nov. 19-20
7:10 p.m.: Italy vs. Iran
11:10 p.m.: Brazil vs. USA
2:10 a.m.: Russia vs. Japan

Nov. 21-22
7:10 p.m.: USA vs. Italy
11:10 p.m.: Iran vs. Russia
2:10 a.m.: Japan vs. Brazil
Nov. 22-23
7:10 p.m.: Iran vs. USA
11:10 p.m.: Russia vs. Brazil
2:10 a.m.: Italy vs. Japan
Nov. 23-24
7:10 p.m.: Brazil vs. Italy
10:10 p.m.: USA vs. Russia
1:10 a.m.: Japan vs. Iran