Courtesy: USA Water Polo
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – USA Men’s National Team Head Coach Dejan Udovicic has announced the 13-man roster for the upcoming FINA World Championship qualifier later this month in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Team USA will join Argentina, Brazil and Canada in the four-team event with the top two teams earning qualification for the 2019 FINA World Championship this summer in Gwangju, South Korea. Team USA will open play against Argentina on January 22 before taking on Brazil and Canada in group play. A champion will be crowned on January 26 but the semifinal round on January 25 will prove most important, determining the final two teams qualifying for the World Championship.
Team USA will send a squad of 13 athletes that all took part in a three-game exhibition series against Italy last month where Team USA went 1-2, including a win at Chapman University on December 29. Olympians Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC), Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier), Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy/California/Olympic Club), Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) anchor a talented group featuring a mixture of elite college talent and athletes competing professionally abroad.
Should live streaming of the event be made available, information will be shared at USAWaterPolo.org and at Twitter.com/USAWP.
2019 FINA World Championship Qualifier Schedule
January 22 – USA vs Argentina 11:15am pt
January 23 – USA vs Brazil 12:30pm pt
January 24 – USA vs Canada 11:15am pt
January 25 – TBD (Semifinals)
January 26 – TBD (Semifinals)
2019 USA Men’s National Team Roster – FINA World Championship Qualifier
1 Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/Bruin)
2 Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/LA Premier)
3 Marko Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA/USC/Trojan)
4 Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC)
5 Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier)
6 Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy/California/Olympic Club)
7 Hannes Daube (Long Beach, CA/USC/North Irvine WPC)
8 Dylan Woodhead (San Anselmo, CA/Stanford/Stanford WPF)
9 Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC)
10 Chancellor Ramirez (Pasadena, CA/UCLA/NYAC)
11 Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC)
12 Max Irving (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC)
13 Drew Holland (Orinda, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club)
Head Coach – Dejan Udovicic
Assistant Coaches – Alex Rodriguez and Gavin Arroyo
Team Manager – Lori Verdegaal
Trainer – Chris Bates