Familiar faces in contention to lead USA in Finland

The athletes charged with continuing the gold standard and championship aspirations of the United States at this summer’s IFAF Flag Football World Championships have been whittled down to preliminary rosters of 18 players.

Earlier this month, USA Football held trials for 60 men and 60 women, all hopeful of being on the flight to Lahti in Finland in August. They have now trimmed the pool to within four players of the final 12-athlete rosters for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams. The final decisions on who takes on the rest of the world will be made in Charlotte from late May to early June, with the other athletes serving as alternates, available to be called up to the 12-player roster if needed.

The latest men’s roster includes eight players who were crowned 2023 IFAF Americas continental champions in 2023, including those whose offensive firepower defeated Mexico 40-36 in the tournament finale. Quarterback Darrell ‘Housh’ Doucette is joined by five players who caught touchdowns in that win – Bruce Mapp, Velton Brown Jr, Aamir Brown, Laval Davis, and Christopher Cardona – and by Laderrick Smith, who threw the game’s decisive scoring pass.

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Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North