OKLAHOMA CITY – The final roster for the 2019 USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) was announced today by USA Softball. The 17-member roster will compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Championship (MWC) set to take place July 13-23 in Prague, Czech Republic. The 16th edition of the men's flagship softball event will showcase 72 games of the highest-level softball competition in the world.
“Going into the World Championship, we are very happy with the team we have selected,” said Head Coach Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.). “We have a deep and talented roster with a good mix of veterans and youth. The players selected have put in a lot of hard work and done everything the coaching staff and selection committee wanted to see to earn their place on the squad.”
Kevin Castillo (Long Beach, Calif.), Jenner Christiansen (Hayward, Calif.), Joel Cooley (St. Paul, Minn.), Yusef Davis (Long Beach, Calif.), Tyler Dudley (Battle Creek, Mich.), Jon Gwizdala (Bay City, Mich.), Jonathan Lynch (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), Tony Mancha (:as Cruces, N.M.), Nick Mullins (Toms River, N.J.), Jeff Nowaczyk (Midland, Mich.), Erick Ochoa (Imperial, Calif.), Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa), Matt Ratliff (American Fork, Utah), Gil Saenz (El Paso, Texas), Cam Schiller (Prescott, Ariz.), Marcus Tan (Union City, Calif.) and Duane Weiler (Richland, Pa.) have been named to the 17-member roster, with Tyler Bouley (Champlin, Minn.) named as an alternate.
|Kevin||Castillo||Long Beach, Calif|
|Joel||Cooley||St. Paul, Minn.|
|Yusef||Davis||Long Beach, Calif|
|Tyler||Dudley||Battle Creek, Mich.|
|Jon||Gwizdala||Bay City, Mich.|
|Jonathan||Lynch||Cape Giradeau, Mo.|
|Tony||Mancha||Las Cruces, N.M.|
|Nick||Mullins||Toms River, N.J.|
|Matt||Palazzo||Pleasant Hill, Iowa|
|Matthew||Ratliff||American Fork, Utah|
|Gil||Saenz||El Paso, TX|
|Marcus||Tan||Union City, Calif.|
The MNT heads into the WBSC MWC coming off months of preparation, including the FPS Cancun Tournament (Cancun, Mexico), Jack Grafmeier Memorial Fastpitch Tournament (Kimberly, Wis.) and BBL Invitational Tournament (Stevens, Pa.).
Competing in Pool B, Team USA begins opening round action at the WBSC MWC on June 14 at 7:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. CT) against No. 19 Netherlands. Team USA is also slated to play No. 4 Australia on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. CT), No. 12 South Africa on June 16 at 4:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. CT), No. 2 Canada on June 17 at 7:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. CT), No. 22 Singapore on June 18 at 4:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. CT) and No. 11 Denmark on June 19 at 4:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. CT) before closing out opening round against No. 8 Venezuela at 10:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. CT). Team USA looks to end a 19-year medal drought at the WBSC MWC, having last stood on the podium at the 2000 edition in East London, South Africa.
“We realize we face a tough test in our pool against proven perennial contenders and medalists as well as up and coming teams who have greatly improved,” continued Leather. “No contest will be easy and we will have to be on top of our game and focused from the start to earn a playoff berth from this pool but that is what we are expecting to do. We have put in the work and are ready for the challenge.”
The 16 teams that will compete are: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, USA, and Venezuela.
Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, the U.S. will look to improve upon a sixth-place finish at the 2017 WBSC World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, where the team finished with a 6-3 record.
MEDIA: For more information on the WBSC Men's World Championship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fastpitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and is widely known as the best-trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.