Eight Teams to Compete for the NORCECA Men’s U21 Title

NOGALES, Mexico, June 10, 2024.-  Eight teams are ready to compete for the NORCECA Men’s U21 Continental Championship title, which kicks off on Tuesday, June 11, in Nogales, Mexico.

The head coaches have shared their first impressions ahead of the event, which is part of the qualification system for the FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship in 2025.

The organizing committee confirmed that the event will be streamed on Facebook Live  Federación Mexicana de Voleibol, A.C.

Daniel Lewis, Head Coach of Canada: “The team is of first year university players, so they have some good experience but not internationally. We had five weeks to prepare, and I noticed that our team started to come together well, so I expect us to be ok. We don’t know about the other teams at the beginning of the tournaments, which makes it difficult to prepare for them and you must focus more on yourself, your own team. As the tournament grows, we hope to grow as a team as well, that’s our goal for sure. We take it one game at a time and try to never over or underestimate anybody, just try to make sure our level is always there”.


Lian Sem Estrada, Entrenador de Cuba: “This is a completely new team. The preparation went well, although there were some challenges because it was at the same time with the U19 team’s preparation. We know these players have little experience, but we will defend our title as champions. We come with the same eagerness and determination to win the ticket to the World Championship.”


Luis Fernando Castañeda, Entrenador de Guatemala: “I have come with a young team. We have worked hard, and the level of competition will be high. For us, it’s good to keep competing as preparation for more events. We have a couple of players with experience, but overall, it’s a young group. We hope that the players will develop and evolve as the games progress. We aim to play our best and improve our ranking.”


Jorge Alberto Romero, Head Coach of Mexico: “Since last year I’ve been coaching the team, we finished in second place at the U21 Pan American Cup held in Cuba, and we also competed together in the World Championship in Bahrain. The team is strong, we have a good chance of taking a medal, and our goal is to qualify for the World Championship. However, we know we’ll be facing very tough opponents”.


Jorge Mena, Head Coach of Nicaragua: “This version of the team is slightly better. The boys are well-prepared; some of them have considerable experience (5 or 6 participated in the U21 event in Cuba last year), and 80% of the team are the Central American runners-up. We want to perform well, give the players the opportunity to play against high-level teams, and I believe we have a good chance of advancing to the quarterfinals”.


Gerardo De Jesús Sánchez, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We have come with a balanced team. I have players with international experience; some competed in the U19 World Championship last year in Argentina. Others are new to the group, and some are changing positions. We have worked for a month and a half, and we are in pretty good shape”.

Puerto Rico

Lionel Blokland, Team Manager of Suriname: “Our preparation is fine. The team spirit is high because we want to show the world that Suriname is not a country that you can dismiss, we are here to stay. Suriname is fighting to get better every year, so the other teams have to watch out because slowly but surely, we’re coming on top. That’s our main focus right now”.


John Hawks, Head Coach of United States: “We are very excited to be here and represent our country in this tournament. We have a mixture of new guys, but we have a core nucleus that competed in the World Championship last summer. I expect us to compete hard and play for the gold medal”.

United State