Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Cuban heroes hatch escape plot
March 13th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[OLYMPIC QUALIFYING] Within an hour of its sensational performance against the United States in their opening game of the Concacaf Olympic men's qualifying tournament, Cuba was rocked with the discovery that five players were missing in a well-planned scheme to defect.

The players -- including goalie Jose Manuel Miranda, who had a big game in the 1-1 tie Tuesday in Tampa, and captain Yenier Bermudez -- reportedly left the Doubletree Airport Hotel, the team hotel, within 15 minutes of their return from at Raymond James Stadium, rushed to a waiting car and headed off to Lake Worth, south of West Palm Beach, on Florida's Atlantic coast.

Erlys Garcia Baro, Yordany Alvarez, Loanni Prieto, Miranda and Bermudez had hatched their plan while back in Cuba.

"We knew when we got to the United States what our plan was," Bermudez told the Miami Herald. "It's something the five of us talked about a lot, so we were ready when the time came. Of course, we're nervous because we're young, have no family here, and we don't yet know the way of life here, but we hope the Cuban and American communities will help us get started.''

The success of Cuban Mikael Galindo, who defected during the 2005 Gold Cup, has created a market for Cuban players.

''I watched their game against the U.S. on TV, and I thought the Cuban team played very well,'' Luiz Muzzi, general manager of the USL's Miami FC, told the Miami Herald. "We were kind of scouting that game because any time a Cuban team comes to the United States, there's a chance someone might defect. We definitely will let them work out with us, and see if anything comes of it.''

Defecting Cubans are allowed to remain in the United States and apply for U.S. residency after one year.

The losses leave Cuba depleted for its game against Honduras on Thursday and Panama on Saturday.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. U-18s split two-game series with Germany    
The U.S. under-18 men's national team dropped a 3-2 decision to Germany's U-18s to finish with ...
MLS Trade Central: Friday's deals    
After two disastrous years in England, Brek Shea is back in MLS, signing with expansion club ...
MLS lines up exciting tripleheader for first Sunday    
MLS will open its 2015 season on March 6 when the defending champion LA Galaxy hosts ...
Video Pick: Alex Meier on Fire     
The leading scorer in the Europe's highest scoring league is a player you may not have ...
What They're Saying: Chris Wondolowski    
"I'm not over it. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. [Pause] I actually think ...
U.S. U-20s win at San Pedro Sula    
San Pedro Sula is no easy place to play as the USA (2-1 loser in the ...
Press and Lloyd combine for all seven in U.S. win    
After a tie and loss in its first two games at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
What They're Saying: Juergen Klopp    
"He took a wrong turn at some point. But everything is back to normal now. He ...
TV Report: MLS expansion teams ink local deals    
As expected, New York City FC has entered into a multi-year agreement with YES Network, while ...
Timbers land Wake's Vidovich to run T2    
The Portland Timbers, who dipped into the college ranks to get head coach Caleb Porter, have ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives