2013 UANA Tournament: Team USA looking to qualify for FINA World Championships

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The men's United States water polo team is looking to punch their ticket to the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, as they take part in the 2013 UANA qualification tournament.

The United State's men's national teams is preparing for the 2013 international season by participating in the (take a big breath) 2013 UANA World Aquatic Championship Qualification Tournament from Jan. 30 through Feb. 3.

This is a four-team tournament featuring Canada, Brazil, Argentina as well as the United States. The men's team is in this tournament due to their eighth place finish at the 2012 London Olympic Games. This tournament is a qualification for the 2013 FINA World Championships which take place this Summer in Barcelona, and the top two teams from this field will advance.

The tournament setup has each team facing the other once in group play and then they are seeded one through four. From that semifinal point the No. 1 will face the No. 4 team, and the No. 3 will face the No. 2 team, and the winners from those games will qualify for the FINA World Championships.

Team USA will have a different look than they did in the Olympics, with stars like Tony Azevedo or keeper Merrill Moses, but they will have others like Ryan Bailey, Jesse Smith and Jeff Powers. Plus, the coach is USC's Jovan Vavic who is coaching the team through this tournament on an interim basis.

The United States is the only team that was at the London Olympics, so that gives them an advantage in this tournament. It would be a huge disappointment if they do not finish in the top two to qualify for the world championships.

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