Volleyball Nations League (VNL), the world’s premier annual international indoor volleyball tournament, has announced the official athlete rosters for the USA, Iran, Argentina, France, Germany, Serbia, Bulgaria and Cuba teams who will compete during Week 3 of preliminary play in Anaheim, Calif. from July 4 – 9, 2023.
The Men’s VNL 2023 will feature 16 national teams and will be held in seven different countries on three different continents. The teams will play four matches a week for three weeks of preliminary competition. The top 7 teams at the end of the preliminary phase will advance to the VNL Finals with hosts Poland in the city of Gdansk from July 19 – 23.
“We are excited to showcase the global superstars at the Volleyball Nations League in Anaheim for our fans in America and around the world this July,” said Finn Taylor, CEO, Volleyball World.”American sports fans will have a chance to see the world’s best players and national teams take on Team USA in some of the best international volleyball played anywhere on the globe this year.”
Below are athletes highlighted from all eight countries. For a complete roster, go to VNL 2023 – Men’s teams. | volleyballworld.com.
TEAM USA – After finishing in second place in 2022, the USA Men are currently ranked No. 6 in the world. They return under 11-time head coach and UCLA coach John Speraw, with 10 Olympians on the roster, including bronze medalists David Smith, Erik Shoji and Matt Anderson, and rising star Mason Briggs.
- Three-time Olympian David Smith out of University of California Irvine, returns to the middle blocker position. Smith earned Best Middle Blocker at the 2022 VNL Finals and is an elite athlete who plays nearly deaf.
- Two-time Olympian Libero Erik Shoji, hailing from Hawaii and Stanford alumni, is a two-time Olympian who earned a bronze in 2016. Born to University of Hawaii women’s volleyball coach Dave Shoji, volleyball is a family business for the Shojis.
- Rising Star Mason Briggs comes from a family of collegiate volleyball players. As upcoming talent in the VNL and professional indoor volleyball circuit, he attends Cal State Long Beach and is known for his charisma on and off the court.
FRANCE – The defending VNL champions return with 2020 Olympic gold medalists Earvin N’Gapeth, Trévor Clévenot, Jean Patry and Jenia Grebnnikov. France earned their first VNL title in 2022 by defeating the United States.
IRAN – With a seventh place finish last year, the 2023 squad includes Seyed Mousavi who has led Iran to two Olympic appearances. He is joined by veteran Masoud Gholami and rising stars Amin Esmaeilnezhad and Javad Karimi.
ARGENTINA – Led by captain Luciano De Cecco who returns for his 18th season. In addition, 12 players who led Argentina to an eighth-place finish at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship include Bruno Lima, Agustín Loser and Santiago Danani. They will look to better their ninth place finish at the 2022 VNL.
SERBIA – The 2019 European champions return to the VNL with 10 players that competed at last year’s world championship. Their roster includes Olympians Aleksandar Atanasijevic & Marko Podrascanin.
GERMANY – After competing without nine key players last year, veteran outside hitter Denis Kaliberda and middle blocker Anton Brehme rejoin German teammates Julian Zenger (L) and Lukas Kampa (S) for this year’s VNL. Kaliberda has played with the national team since 2010, representing Germany at the 2012 Olympics.
BULGARIA – Returning 11 years after he last played for the Bulgarian national team, the country’s most prominent active star, Matey Kaziyski rejoins Teodor Salparov, the Bratoev twins – Georgi & Valentin; and Nikolay Penchev.
CUBA – The team won the Volleyball Challenger Cup in 2022 to earn promotion to the 2023 VNL. The team is led by Outside Hitter Miguel Lopez, who participated in the 2016 Olympic Games and Robertlandy Simon, arguably one of the most exciting middle blockers to watch in the VNL.
Tickets are now available for purchase HERE.
For a complete athlete roster and more information about the Volleyball Nations League, including the latest news, schedules, scores and highlights, please visit www.volleyballworld.com. Follow @volleyballworld on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Tune into the Volleyball Nations League 2023 live programming on VBTV.