Team USA and Coach Dejan Udovicic take on Serbia in a four-game series starting Tuesday night at UC San Diego.

USA men to take on world powerhouse Serbia


U.S. men’s water polo coach Dejan Udovicic could have selected an easier opponent for a four-match tune-up series that runs through Southern California this week.

He instead picked one of the toughest teams in the world.

Serbia, the bronze medalist the past three Olympics and the two-time defending FINA World Cup champion, will take on Team USA and Tony Azevedo in the matches starting Tuesday night at UC San Diego at 7.

The teams will also play Thursday night at Riverside City College at 7:30 and Sunday night at El Toro High at 5. The series concludes June 9 at a sold out-University of Illinois, which is expected to host a large number of Serbia fans.

“When we play against a powerhouse team, it’s very good for us,” said Udovivic, whose team is preparing for its Olympic qualification tournament at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July.

“(Serbia) also is using this (to prepare) for the FINA Super Final at the end of June. … They want to win that competition to qualify for the Olympics.”

The U.S.-Serbian series will also give Udovicic a final chance to evaluate players before he finalizes his roster Saturday for the Pan American Games and FINA Super Final.

The U.S. squad will feature the return of veteran goalie Merrill Moses, who helped the Americans capture the silver at the 2008 Olympics. Moses also Team USA’s goalie in 2012 when it finished eighth.

Other newcomers to watch are defender Alex Roelse (UCLA), attacker Nikola Vavic (USC) and goalie Justin Parsons (Cal). Moses, Roelse, Vavic and Parsons weren’t on the U.S. roster for the recent FINA Intercontinental tournament at Corona del Mar, where the Americans claimed bronze.

See archived 'Sports' stories »

Other Varsity coverage:
Inland Empire
Search Players


Westminster 21, Orange 14 - 01:00 2nd QT - Completed


Mater Dei 26, St. John Bosco 21 - 07:00 4th QT - Completed


Troy 15, Fullerton 14 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Servite 42, Orange Lutheran 49 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Laguna Hills 41, Templeton 28 - 02:23 4th QT - Completed


Aliso Niguel 10, Capistrano Valley 43 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Trabuco Hills 0, Mission Viejo 68 - 07:28 4th QT - Completed


Yorba Linda 27, Foothill 9 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Los Alamitos 62, Fountain Valley 7 - 02:06 2nd QT - Completed


El Dorado 20, El Modena 34 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed