US water polo roster not quite right
LOS ANGELES — Tuesday marked the day for the US
Olympic Men's Water Polo team to be announced. Or so we thought.
"We had every intention to come here today and announce 13 players that
were to make up our Olympic team," Men's National Team head coach Terry
Schroeder said. "However we had a pretty serious injury to one of our
players, so based on that injury, and with respect to the process of selecting
an Olympic team, in fairness to all the athletes and ultimately to give us the
best chance to win that gold medal in London, we've decided to name 14 players
The 14 players will make up the 13 roster spots plus an alternate.
The injury was a concussion sustained by center JW Krumpholz during warmups of
the team's match in the World League prelims last month. He was hit in the head
by a shot from a teammate. Krumpholz was out of the pool for two weeks and has
seen limited action in the team’s last two matches.
Krumpholz, who was a member of the 2008 Olympic Team, says he feels
"great" and no longer has any effects of the concussion.
The evaluation will now extend a couple of more weeks when the team heads to
Kazakhstan for the World League Super Final where all 14 players are expected
to see action.
Schroeder says the final cut will "more than likely" come down to
Krumpholz and center John Mann, as one of two centers the team will take to
London along with Ryan Bailey.
"One thing I worry about is myself," Krumpholz said. "As long as
I put myself in the best situation to make the team, then hopefully I will,
just like last time."
Mann was an alternate on the 2008 team and hopes his fortunes change this time
"A lot of people would think (being an alternate) would be a really cool
experience, but you don't compete for your country, you don't get to compete
for your team, so that's heartbreaking," Mann said. "It's something
that builds a fire inside of you and wants you to keep going and keep
Although the spotlight is on Krumpholz and Mann, Schroeder says he's talked to
"six, seven" players about needing to see more from them.
The National Team will enter London as the reigning Olympic silver medalist.
The US finished second in Beijing for just the third time in program history.
The Americans have made strides recently by beating three-time defending
Olympic gold medalists Hungary in a training match for the first time in 10
years. They also picked up a win over Croatia for the first time since
the 2008 Olympic Games.
The team that will represent the United States in London is a veteran squad
that features two members that will be making their fourth Olympic team in team
captain and attacker Tony Azevedo and Bailey. They believe their experience
will be a huge plus for the team to have success in London.
"I think we're a little more confident going into (London)," Azevedo
said. "A lot of us have played together for over 13, 14 years.
"We all decided to stay together and train seven months nonstop to make
sure that every little aspect is going to be perfect. I think that as we showed
two weeks ago, if we continue working harder and get that motivation that when
we play our game, we're the best team in the world."
The Americans will be in Group B along with Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Great
Britain and Serbia. They'll open against Montenegro on July 29th.
The USOC roster deadline is June 18th. Schroeder is hoping to get an
extension. The World League Super Final ends on June 17th and the team
will then head to Montenegro for five days of training. Schroeder wants to hold
off on the decision until the team returns home.