INDIANAPOLIS – USA Football has announced player rosters for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams that will compete in the 2021 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Flag Football World Championships in Spain next October 6-10. The global competition featuring the world’s top flag national teams will be held in Palma, Spain, located on the island of Mallorca – the largest of the country’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, manages U.S. National Teams for international play. IFAF is a provisional member of the International Olympic Committee.
The 2021 U.S. Men’s roster features five members of the 2018 gold medal-winning team, while the U.S. Women’s team returns nine players from the 2018 squad that earned America’s first IFAF Women’s Flag Football World Championship title. Held every two years since 2002, the 2020 IFAF Flag World Championships were rescheduled for 2021 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
USA Football Executive Director and CEO Scott Hallenbeck:
“The IFAF Flag Football World Championships showcase the elite talent and intense passion that exist across our game internationally. Entering our second decade of managing U.S. Flag National Teams, we are excited for our nation’s best to compete in Spain and – having this premier competition be a precursor to The World Games 2022 – football’s inspiring future parallels its global and growing profile.”
BRYAN GARCIA of Dallas is the U.S. Men’s head coach with more than 20 years of flag football experience. Garcia coached teams to the 2014 Texas 8-Man State Championship and the 2015 United States Flag & Touch Football League (USFTL) National Championship. He also represented the U.S. as a game official at the 2018 IFAF Flag World Championships in Panama. Garcia currently serves as the referee director for the Flag Football World Championship Tour (FFWCT).
CHRIS LANKFORD of Dallas is the U.S. Women’s head coach. Lankford led the U.S. Women’s Team to its first IFAF Flag World Championship gold medal in 2018. He also has coached teams to six USFTL National Championships. A seasoned coach with vast experience leading elite women’s flag players, Lankford is familiar with the sport’s world-class competition by successfully directing American teams in tournaments played in Canada and Mexico.
Player selections for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Flag Team rosters are based on skill and character evaluations by USA Football. The U.S. Men’s and Women’s Selection Committee evaluates athletes at flag football competitions and events nationwide. Other athletes are considered based on their participation in non-scouted events.
2021 U.S. Men’s Flag National Team roster:
|Brian Alfieri||QB||Massapequa, N.Y.|
|Terrance Bunting||WR||Orlando, Fla.|
|Darrell Doucette||Athlete||New Orleans, La.|
|Terrance Fox*||WR||Bound Brook, N.J.|
|Eric Holliday*||QB||Lantana, Texas|
|Bruce Mapp||WR||Carrollton, Texas|
|Greg Meek*||WR||Garland, Texas|
|Anthony Pomo||C/WR||Midland Park, N.J.|
|Malik Ransom||DB||Spring Valley, Calif.|
|Manny Sanabia*||DB/WR||Miami, Fla.|
|Frankie Solomon*||DB||Dallas, Texas|
|Brandel Webb||DB||Dallas, Texas|
*2018 U.S. Men’s Flag National Team member
|Bryan Garcia||Granbury, Texas|
2021 U.S. Women’s Flag National Team roster:
|Nadia Bibbs||WR/DB||Chicago, Ill.|
|Kassandra Bills||WR/DB||San Antonio, Texas|
|Mary Kate Bula||WR/DB||Charlotte, N.C.|
|Sheneika Comice*||WR/DB||Tampa, Fla.|
|Becca Crabb*||C/DB||Denver, Colo.|
|Mariah Gearhart*||R/WR||Orlando, Fla.|
|Vanita Krouch*||QB||Carrollton, Texas|
|Keisa Lankford*||C/R||Dallas, Texas|
|Joann Overstreet*||WR/DB||Lewisville, Texas|
|Michelle Roque*||QB/WR||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|Elizabeth Sowers*||WR/DB||Overland Park, Kan.|
|Ashley Whisonant*||WR/DB||Woodbridge, Va.|
*2018 U.S. Women’s Flag National Team member
|Chris Lankford*||Dallas, Texas|
The IFAF Men’s and Women’s Flag Football World Championships, held biannually since 2002, unite the world’s top national teams to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams have competed in IFAF Flag World Championships since 2008. For the first time, 2021 will see both teams jointly enter the IFAF Flag World Championships as defending gold medalists.
The U.S. Men’s Flag Team has earned gold medals in each of the previous three IFAF World Championships: 2018 in Panama City, Panama; 2016 in Miami; and 2014 in Grosseto, Italy. The American men have participated in six IFAF Flag World Championships, winning gold in four of them – 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018 – the most of any country in the event’s history.
The U.S. Women’s Flag Team will enter Spain looking to repeat as gold medalists, a feat it accomplished for the first time in 2018 in Panama. The American women also have earned three silver medals (2010, 2012, 2014).
Including the 2021 IFAF Flag World Championships in Spain, the global tournament will have been played in nine countries across three continents since its 2002 inception. IFAF Flag World Championships have been played in Austria (2002), France (2004), South Korea (2006), Canada (2008, 2010), Sweden (2012), Italy (2014), the United States (2016) and Panama (2018).
According to IFAF, approximately 70 countries across six continents possess a national federation dedicated solely to American Football.