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
49ers and NBA Kings ante up on Sac MLS bid    
Sacramento Republic FC ownership continues to grow with the announcement that San Francisco 49ers owner and ...
U.S. women head to Europe without three stars    
Four months ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup, the USA heads to Europe for friendlies ...
MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick will return    
Out-of-market packages MLS Live, MLS's subscription streaming service, and MLS Direct Kick, MLS's cable and satellite ...
What They're Saying: Paul Rogers    
"Did I want to pull out [of the U.S. team] this close to a World Cup? ...
MLS Trade Central: Agudelo returns to Revs    
The New England Revolution got a boost for its MLS title hopes when 22-year-old Juan Agudelo ...
Chelsea vs. Man City: Showdown At Stamford Bridge     
On Saturday, two of the most expensive teams money can buy will square off in a ...
What They're Saying: Bob Gansler    
"I'm doing fine. I recovered quite quickly, to their surprise. I was able to leave (the ...
Video Pick: Back-heel volley golazo from Chelsea youngster     
Kasey Palmer, an 18-year-old midfielder, scored this beautiful goal in U-21 action against West Ham.
Obituary: Milton Aimi    
Milton Aimi played a variety of roles in spurring the growth of soccer in Texas and ...
Again, the USA wilts in the second half    
The USA's performance in a 3-2 loss to Chile on Wednesday raises lots of questions and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives