U.S. to play Japan, Argentina, Germany in Olympics pool-play

Photo courtesy of NORCECA and the FIVB

The start of the U.S. path for a possible Olympic gold medal is set.

The FIVB conducted on Wednesday its pool drawing for the upcoming Olympics with the United States, Japan, Argentina and Germany all being placed on Pool C.

The 12-team men’s volleyball tournament will have a different pool-play format compared to recent Olympics. There now will be three pools instead of two pools and the pool-play stage reduced from five to three matches.

The top-two teams in each of the four-team pools and the two best third-place teams among the three pools will advance to the quarterfinals.


The United States because of the pool drawing formula was assured to be the second-highest ranked team in its pool.

A majority of players in the projected U.S. starting lineup return after winning the bronze medal at the 2016 Games and narrowly missing the quarterfinals in 2021. The United States during the current quadrennial won the silver medal at both the 2022 Volleyball Nations League and 2023 Volleyball Nations League.

Japan at the No. 2 in the world rankings is the highest ranked team in Pool C. Japan also qualified for the upcoming Volleyball Nations League quarterfinals, including defeating the United States in the round-robin stage finale on Sunday.

Argentina returns to the Olympics as the defending bronze medalists. In addition, the United States lost to Argentina in the 2020 Olympics in the group-play finale to be eliminated from medal contention.

Germany is the lowest ranked team in Pool C. The team finished the recent Volleyball Nations League in 12th place and lost to the United States in their most recent meeting last week.

The Olympics pool-play round will take place July 27 through Aug. 3.

The FIVB announced Wednesday match times for the pool-play matches will be unveiled at a later time.