Team USA has named an all-star cast for the World Cup qualifiers next week in Europe.
For the first time in a decade, the United States is preparing for a major FINA tournament without the title of reigning champions.
Although the Americans automatically qualify for the World Cup finals in Long Beach, the inclusion of Maggie Steffens, Maddie Musselman, Ashleigh Johnson, Rachel Fattal, and Kaleigh Gilchrist signals strong intent from Adam Krikorian.
USA Record at international competition between 2013 and 2023 World Championships: Gold (2015, 2017, 2019, 2022) World League Super Finals: Gold (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
USA Record at international competition between 2013 and 2023
World Championships: Gold (2015, 2017, 2019, 2022)
World League Super Finals: Gold (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
It sounds laughable to label a team that features six multiple Olympic gold-medal winners as one in transition, but that’s where the USA is at the moment.
The experience of Steffens, Gilchrist and company will no doubt help nurture the likes of eighteen-year-olds; Julia Bonaguidi Ava Stryker, Rachel Gazzaniga; young superstar Emily Ausmus (17), and senior national team debutante, 15-year-old Alison Cohen.
Did you know that Team USA’s Kaleigh Gilchrist represented the US Surf Team at five ISA World Championships and won consecutive Surfing America titles in 2009 and 2010?
The World Cup fixtures in Rotterdam (11th-13th April) and Athens (19th-21st April) will see Maddie Musselman make her competitive return for the first time since Budapest last summer. Gilchrist is also returning from a long absence, while World Champions from 2022; Tara Prentice (Sant Andreu), Denise Mammolito (USC), and Jordan Raney, are all given the nod.
Team USA are drawn into Group B with China, Italy and Spain.
Collegiate obligations at home slightly limits Adam Krikorian’s selection, with Ryan Neushul, Ava Johnson, Bayley Weber, Ella Woodhead, Jenna Flynn, and Jewel Roemer committed to helping their respective teams prepare for the back-end of the MPSF and NCAA season. Jovana Sekulic (Princeton) and Emma Lineback (UCLA), both of whom impressed for the USA during their Christmas exhibition matches with Italy and Spain, will also not appear.
The United States face Spain, Italy, and China in Group B in Rotterdam.
Team USA for World Cup
Ashleigh Johnson, Maddie Musselman, Tara Prentice, Rachel Fattal, Julia Bonaguidi, Maggie Steffens, Emily Ausmus, Ava Stryker, Denise Mammolito, Rachel Gazzaniga, Allison Cohen, Jordan Raney, Amanda Longan, Kaleigh Gilchrist.