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
Woodwork can't hold down USA     
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] About the only thing that stood in the way of the U.S. women's ...
Fire goes out with late win over Houston    
[MLS: Friday] Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle made sure Chicago did not finish the MLS season with another ...
James' skills highlight Real Madrid pre-clasico practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] The Real Madrid-Barcelona clasico delivers entertainment even before kickoff. Here's a 40-second peek ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out ...
Ft. Lauderdale is ready for challenge against red-hot Eddies    
[NASL: Week 16] Minnesota United FC and the 2013 champion New York Cosmos played to a ...
Finlay signs new deal with Columbus    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] For helping drive Columbus into the playoffs after a two-year absence, midfielder Ethan Finlay ...
Referee suspended after felony arrest on fraud charges    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who has worked 17 MLS matches in 2014, has been ...
Wambach nominated for Women's Player of the Year    
[AWARDS] Abby Wambach, who leads the U.S. women with 10 goals but is no longer a ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Thursday] Seyi Adekoya teamed up with fellow freshman Chase Gasper to break a 1-1 tie ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"None of this is personal. Some things could have been phrased differently because the actual opinions ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives