International Teams Well Represented in Orlando
FFWCT’s Orlando Flag Football World Championships powered by SeaWorld is right around the corner and we have more international teams represented this year than ever! Teams are coming in from all over the world, including the countries of Canada, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Venezuela and even Denmark with 20 teams participating across multiple styles and divisions! Find out more about some of these international teams below and make sure to greet them in Orlando at the fields!
Cavaliers from Montreal, Canada
The Cavaliers are one of 7 teams representing Canada, 5 of them unique, that are looking to make a splash this year in Orlando. Participating in the 5v5 Non-Contact Coed PRO division, the Cavaliers are a collegiate team from the south side of Montreal who had their inaugural season in 2018 who went undefeated in their division before moving up to the top ranks and coming in 2nd in 2019. With a young roster composed of 17-19 year old players and their 3 coaches, they are using this tournament for a team bonding experience and to see an extremely high level of competition to see how they stack up.
“We’re are looking forward to playing strong opponents who might show us something we haven’t seen before so we can either take some of those lessons and add them to our repertoire or make sure coaching adjustments are made in the case we see those some strategies in our 2020 season.” – Kevin Beauciquot-Lubin, Team Captain.
Danish Dynamite from Copenhagen, Denmark
Representing the country of Denmark in the 4v4 and 5v5 Men’s Non-Contact PRO divisions, the Danish Dynamite consist of many of the country’s top players from the Danish national flag football team that participated in the IFAF World Championships last year. Orlando will be a big adjustment when it comes to rules for this team, as the IFAF rules most international teams are used to for 5v5 have major differences such as no downfield laterals, 4 downs instead of 3 for first downs, etc. Denmark has participated in every IFAF World Championships since 2004 and they’ve finished 2nd in 2008, 2010 and 2016. In 2018 in Panama they placed 3rd only after losing to the United States in the Semi-Finals, and have won 6 straight European Championships.
Team Captain Niklas Dyrby Johansen had this to say about their excitement for the upcoming event – “We’re coming to Orlando to test our skills against the best competition in the world of flag football. We’ve never played an open tournament on American soil before and thought going to Orlando would be the best possible preparation before the 2020 IFAF World Championship in Denmark in August. We’re looking forward to experiencing the level of athleticism and while we do not expect to win our divisions (4v4 PRO and 5v5 non-contact PRO), we hope to be able to field a competitive team and possibly pull out a few wins.”
Team Cap from Mexico City, Mexico
Team Cap is coming back to Orlando to compete in the 5v5 Non-Contact Women’s Open division for 2020. The team was formed in 2017 playing in local leagues in the coed divisions, then formed men’s and women’s teams and dominated locally and at national tournaments and have been a force ever since. They play both 5v5 and 7v7 frequently, and are looking to expand on their 3rd place finish last year in Orlando!
“We are excited to attend the tournament since although it is our second year attending, we were very surprised by the great level of the teams and the great organization that the tournament has. The team is ready to do their best and face the best teams.” – Juan Carlos Sánchez Herrera, Team Cap Co-Founder
BFFL Predators from Nassau, Bahamas
The Predators in the 9v9 Men’s Competitive division are one of 3 teams representing the Bahamas in Orlando this year out of Nassau. They have been a part of the Bahamas Flag Football League since 2009 where they’ve won 4 league championships and multiple local tournaments since that time. Desmond Major is a notable player who is a former Bahamian collegiate sprinter and athlete that now lives in Wisconsin and has had success in the RFFL 8man B divisions, reeling in the winning TD reception in year’s championships game.
“We’ve been coming to 9 man tournaments since 2013. Due to travel restrictions on alot of players we’ve had challenges with fielding a team with on-field chemistry as most times we’ve had players from other teams and leagues playing with us. Nevertheless, the competition we look forward to every year.” – Rad Knowles, Head Coach.
Gyal Dem from Toronto, Canada
Another women’s team representing Canada, Gyal Dem (Carribean for “Them Girls”) is participating in the 7v7 Women’s division as a combination of ladies from multiple teams that have come together out of the Touch Football Ontario league. They represent several different teams, including the Toronto Rebels (Nationals Champions 2016, 2018 & 2019), Toronto Storm (National Finalists 2017,2019), Toronto Rockets (National Finalists 2016, 2018) and Toronto Tigers. Last year was their first year playing together as a 7v7 Screen team, but over the decade most of the women have played in the Dawksports 8v8 Contact divisions as well, with many of the women having played college basketball and other sorts as well. They travel to many U.S. tournament in different styles and divisions. Eliane Ticzon is one of their more notable players, having been inducted into the USFTL Hall of Fame in 2015 after 25 years of football at the highest levels.
“Gyal Dem are here to play the best football we can against some great competition while continuing to make new football friendships.” – Tiffany Hall, Team Captain.
VIAMCI from Cancun, Mexico
VIAMCI will be participating in the 5v5 Non-Contact Men’s Competitive division this year and have alot of experience in their home country. VIAMCI is an accounting firm dedicated to supporting various sports, including flag football, and the team was formed by a group of elite players from Cancun in July 2019 to participate in the LEFAFCASE National Open. They were runners-up of the Tocho State League in Cancun, and have also participated in the women’s branch in the National Open of the Mexican Federation of American Football.
Notable players: Marco Mosqueda, player and Head Coach of Águilas Cancún, former Borregos Tec Puebla and Leones Anáhuac Cancún, selected state of Quintana Roo and selected in the ideal team in the Masters Tournament 3rd Edition of the Mexican League of Tocho. Diego Garcia, South Side Cancun player, champion and interceptions leader of the San Cristóbal de las Casas National Open in 2018, selected state of Quintana Roo and promoted from the Mexican League of Tocho. Javier Chávez, Triton Cancun player, champion of the San Cristóbal de las Casas National Open 2018 and 2019, veteran with several Nationals who support him and also selected state of Quintana Roo. Carlos Esquivel, South Side Cancun player and state team of Quintana Roo.
“VIAMCI is an accounting firm dedicated to supporting various sports, including flag football, the team was formed by a group of elite players from Cancun in July 2019 to participate in the LEFAFCASE National Open, in the same way they are runners-up of the Tocho State League in Cancun, also participated in the Women’s branch in the National Open of the Mexican Federation of American Football.” – Alejandro Sanchez, Team Captain.
Team Venezuela from Caracas
Team Venezuela is participating in the 5v5 Non-Contact Men’s O35 division and features some of the top Venezuelan talent there is, both from the home country and those living here in the United States. Their roster features a 5 time Venezuelan National Champion at Quarterback for 9v9, with 5 players holding multiple National Championships for the 5v5 style. They’ve been playing for 18+ years and are looking forward to a great experience in Orlando!
Team captain Roberto Ramirez relayed their journey from Venezuela to the United States was different than most. “Our team is made up of ex-players from various teams that formed an up coming league in the country, due to the circumstances and bad moment our country is going through some of us we’re forced to leave and land in the United States, country that open its arms and welcomed us. It was always a dream to play in this prestigious tournament; once being here it was a step closer, One day Omar started to opened a WhatsApp group chat and invited athletes that came to the USA. He is sure we could make a competitive team, our players came from New Jersey, Boston, Miami, Orlando, North Carolina and between those players, we decided to put some money together and buy plane tickets to bring the rest of the team from Venezuela. Now that we’re able to play and compete in the biggest flag tournament in the world our goal is to win it and put our country’s name and on top! We are humbled to just step on the field and get the chance compete against great athletes from this nation and other countries as well so the experience it self is a big win for VENEZUELA!”
Paradise Games Wildcats from Nassau, Bahamas
The Wildcats are the lone woman’s team representing the Bahamas this year in the 8v8 Contact Women’s Competitive division. They began playing as a team in 2015 when a few veteran players from different teams combined to create a dominating force in their National League. Their current roster is made up of several players with many years experience as well as others just learning the sport, mixed but lethal. Since 2015, they have won 4 combined National tournaments between the BFFL and GBFFL leagues in the Bahamas, as well as winning the Championship dance in 2018 and 2019 with 2 other appearances in prior years. Many on their roster play on the Bahamas Women’s National Flag Football Team as well as the Bahamas National Rugby Team and have been travelling to the U.S. for the last 2 years, gaining friends and fans at each tournament stop.
“We are extremely excited to play in this year’s tournament in Orlando, mostly for the exposure but more importantly for the rematches. Flag Football is all about improvement and rivalries. In our short time of traveling, it is safe to say that we have definitely developed in both areas. But the experience is what we are looking forward to and hope to learn as much as we can from some of the world’s best athletes all in one place. The Paradise Games Wildcats Flag Football team is a house hold name here in the Bahamas whom we hope to now make ourselves a well known name in the World. We welcome the challenge and all that it brings.” – Leah Treco, Team Captain
We are very thankful for all the teams travelling in both inside the United States and from abroad and are hoping we can continue to grow and bring in more and more International competition to represent their countries on the biggest stage in all of flag football!