MENS WATER POLO AT THE PAN AM GAMES
For the past few years, the U.S. Men’s Water Polo Team has been built around a core of athletes who made their Olympic debuts in 2016. That group, which includes captain Ben Hallock, center Alex Obert, and attackers Alex Bowen and Luca Cupido, is now stronger thanks to several additions. These additions have made this year’s team a favorite to place highly at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, and be a true medal threat at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
Head Coach Dejan Udovicic, now in his third quadrennium with Team USA, has played a major role in helping American players gain European experience. It’s a major reason why the team is poised for success in the coming 12 months. Over the last several years, more than 75 percent of the U.S. training roster has competed for elite clubs in Europe where they have won a variety of titles and gained valuable experience against the best-of-the-best in men’s water polo.
That competitive experience, coupled with a now battle-test core, makes a difference. Several essential players in Team USA’s 2020 U.S. Olympic Team join the Olympic Games Rio 2016 returners on the journey to Paris 2024. They include Max Irving, Johnny Hooper, Drew Holland, Hannes Daube, Dylan Woodhead and Marko Vavic – all of whom hope to play in the 2023 Pan Am Games and beyond.
The 2023 Pan American Games team also includes newcomers on the rise, such as brothers Chase and Ryder Dodd, and goalie Adrian Weinberg who helped the Cal Bears win the last two NCAA Championship titles.
The current blend of experience and emerging talents has produced silver medals at the 2021 and 2022 FINA World League Super Finals and a bronze medal at the world cup earlier this year. In addition, the team’s sixth-place finish at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was the second-best finish at the Games for a U.S. men’s team in more than 20 years. Along the way, there have been gut-wrenching losses, too, most recently in the quarterfinal round of the 2023 world championships. This is all a part of the process.
Over all, this team’s potential is extremely high, big opportunities await, and the timing of both may be just right.
The team will compete in the men’s water polo event. Team USA qualifies automatically as the only representative from Zone III (USA).
Mens Water Polo Roster