The Americans booked their tickets to Paris at last year's Volleyball Olympic Qualifier

The USA men’s national team were the first volleyball participants of the Paris 2024 Olympics to confirm their roster for the event as head coach John Speraw announced the 12 players and the alternate he will take to the French capital by the end of July.

The Americans will have an experienced roster to fight for their sixth Olympic medal as nine of the 12 players picked by Speraw have already appeared in the Games.

The country’s main names over the last few years, setter Micah Christenson, opposite Matt Anderson, outside hitter Aaron Russell, middle blocker Max Holt and libero Erik Shoji all made the list.

“One of the hardest parts about coaching this team is naming the final 12 athletes who will play at the Olympics,” Speraw, who is going to lead the team at the Olympics for a third straight time, said. “It’s such a tough decision because we have so many talented, hard-working, high-character athletes who have been great teammates and represented the United States very well. Ultimately, we decided that this was the best 12 to go compete for us in Paris.”

Anderson, 37, and middle blocker David Smith, 38, are both going to their fourth Olympics after making their debuts in London 2012. Christenson, Holt, Shoji and outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke will make their third Olympic appearance in Paris and, as Anderson, Smith and outside hitter Aaron Russell, were part of the team that took bronze at the Rio 2016 Games.

Russell, who missed the Tokyo 2020 Games due to an injury, will compete at the Olympics for the second time in his career, as well as fellow outside hitters T.J. DeFalco and Garrett Muagututia. Middle blockers Taylor Averill and Jeff Jendryk and setter Micah Ma’a are the Olympic rookies on the list named by Speraw.

Opposite Kyle Ensing was selected by the coach as the alternate and will be able to replace one of the other players if they are unable to compete due to injury or illness.

The United States are among the most successful men’s teams at the Olympics, having won three golds (Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1998 and Beijing 2008) and two bronzes (Barcelona 1992 and Rio 2016) in the last ten editions of the event.

Before making the trip to Paris, the Americans will compete in the Volleyball Nations League 2024. The team, which is currently training in Anaheim, California, will be in Antalya in the first week of the men’s event, from May 21-26, when they will face Poland, France, Bulgaria and hosts Türkiye.

“Choosing the team now allows us to manage a veteran team and the grind of VNL travel to ensure we have a good balance between training, recovery and competition to prepare ourselves for the Games,” Speraw added. “It’s an incredible honor to coach these men. I’ve known all of them for a long time. I have such a high degree of trust in their ability to play the game and respect for how they compete and represent the United States. I know how special this experience is and I’m grateful to these 12 men and to all the athletes who have given their best toward this Olympic effort.”

The USA are one of seven men’s national teams qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics, alongside hosts France, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan and Poland. The remaining five spots will be determined at the conclusion of the VNL 2024 Preliminary Phase.

USA men’s volleyball Olympic roster

Setters: Micah Christenson, Micah Ma’a
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Outside hitters: Aaron Russell, Garrett Muagututia, Thomas Jaeschke, T.J. DeFalco
Middle blockers: David Smith, Jeff Jendryk, Max Holt, Taylor Averill
Libero: Erik Shoji
Alternate: Kyle Ensing (opposite)