USA Water Polo Announces 2024 U.S. Men’s Olympic Water Polo Roster

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Los Angeles, CA – June 18, 2024 — U.S. Olympic Men’s Head Coach Dejan Udovicic announced the 13 athletes who will represent Team USA at the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024, earlier today at a press conference at Republique in Los Angeles. In July, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will confirm the full roster for Paris.

The team is loaded with experience, as 10 of the 13 players selected for Paris also competed at the Tokyo Olympic Games. One of the returnees is team captain and two-time Olympian Ben Hallock, who is recognized as one of the most elite centers in the world. He won three Champions League titles with the Italian club Pro Recco.

Alex BowenLuca Cupido and Alex Obert are also two-time Olympians expected to aid Team USA’s effort to return to the podium. Attackers Bowen and Cupido will bring a major scoring punch after completing strong seasons in France and Italy, respectively. Obert returned to Team USA last fall and will add essential depth at the two-meter spot as well as a veteran presence.

Other attackers returning from Tokyo include Max IrvingJohnny Hooper and Hannes Daube. All three can score in a variety of ways because Irving is a world-class passer, Hooper is one of the sport’s fastest players, and Daube a right-hander who can quickly pile up the goals.

Defensively, three important pieces are returning. Goalkeeper Drew Holland is formidable in the net with his high energy and large wingspan. At 6’7″, Dylan Woodhead adds length on the defensive end, and Marko Vavic will be necessary to control some of the bigger threats on the opposing teams. All three recently finished seasons abroad. Holland represented Peristeri, Woodhead suited up for Vouliagmeni and Vavic played for Savona in Italy.

One of the three Olympic rookies on the 2024 roster is Adrian Weinberg, a defensive leader in goal for UC-Berkeley who helped the California Golden Bears capture three consecutive NCAA titles. The others are brothers Chase and Ryder Dodd who have ascended rapidly through the national development pipeline to attain their Olympic berths.

Chase Dodd is a utility who is currently taking time off from UCLA while his 18-year-old brother, Ryder, is a speedster who can score at a level far beyond his age. Ryder graduated from JSerra High School this past spring and will join Chase at UCLA next year.

Team USA earned it’s 2024 Olympic berth in men’s water polo by winning the gold medal at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

In Paris, 13 athletes will be rostered for each match. Unlike the Tokyo Games, it will no longer be necessary to choose a gameday active roster.

The last time the US men’s water polo team earned an Olympic medal was in 2008, at the Olympic Games in Beijing where it claimed silver.  It was the third silver medal in the program’s history, matching results from 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul. The US men have also claimed bronze on three occasions: 1924 Paris, 1932 Los Angeles, and 1972 Munich.

QUOTES:

“I want to congratulate the players, but this is just the beginning of the road to finishing in Paris in the proper way…I was asked to say a few words about how we chose this team but I need to correct that. We didn’t choose this team, we planned and this is something that we designed a long time ago. So, this team was selected not chosen. In my more than twenty five year coaching career, this is one of the most talented teams that I have ever coached. I believe in this team, I believe in my players. It is very exciting that we as a group share the same goals. We are united to achieve what we are looking for and I am looking forward to Paris as the best opportunity for us to show out in the best way we can. Thank you all for coming and we will see you August 12.” Dejan Udovicic, U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo Team Head Coach

“I am grateful that we are on the same page the last couple of years to go and play in Europe with daily practice [and a daily routine] that we need for high results worldwide…[The players] get experience with a variety of coaches, high-level games and practices. So now, everybody recognizes our players and they are coveted by the best clubs in Europe. What I’m most proud of is that this group changed the culture and approach for how to achieve high-level performance.” Dejan Udovicic, U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo Team Head Coach

“Firstly, I would like to congratulate all my teammates. I know for many of us this is not our first Olympic Games, but there is no greater honor than representing your country at the Olympics. I would like to thank our team staff. I know you all put a lot of effort into us and it’s not always easy but the work you do doesn’t go unnoticed. If I had to characterize this team, I would go back to one of my favorite coaches and philosophies of all time – John Wooden’s pyramid of success. The two cornerstones of that are industriousness and enthusiasm. This group of guys has a work ethic like I’ve never seen before. They are willing to do everything [with maximum effort] while being happy as they do it. I think that’s the foundation of any successful team. With those things and with hoe much we are willing to sacrifice for each other, we can do anything we want and take home a medal in Paris.” Ben Hallock, U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo Team captain

2024 U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo Team – Olympic Games Paris 2024 (Hometown/College/USA Water Polo Club)

1. Adrian Weinberg (Los Angeles, CA/California/Pride)
2. Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/Olympic Club/Telimar)
3. Marko Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA/USC/NYAC/Savona)
4. Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC)
5. Hannes Daube (Long Beach, CA/USC/NYAC/Jug Dubrovnik)
6. Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy/California/Olympic Club/CC Ortigia)
7. Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club/Pro Recco)
8. Dylan Woodhead (San Anselmo, CA/Stanford/SHAQ/Vouliagmeni)
9. Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC/Noisy-le-Sec)
10. Chase Dodd (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/Vanguard)
11. Ryder Dodd (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/Mission WPC)
12. Max Irving (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC/Brescia)
13. Drew Holland (Orinda, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club/Peristeri)

Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic
Assistant Coaches: Gavin Arroyo, Matt Ustaszewski, John McBride
Sports Medicine Manager: Chris Bates
Team Manager: Paulina Bui

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Brian berrey
1 month ago

Looking forward to positive results. Masters player from the Midwest.