Five years after Osvaldo Alonso defected from Cuba, the Seattle Sounders midfielder earned U.S. citizenship, opening up new doors for him. "I'm very happy for that and so proud of myself to get citizenship," said Alonso after passing the citizenship test. "I'm very happy."
Citizenship for Alonso -- who left the Cuban national team during the 2007 Gold Cup while in a department store in Houston -- means he hopes to be reunited with his family back in Cuba. "Now I'm going to start the process to bring my mom and my sister [to the United States] first," he said. "Let's see what happens in the future."
Alonso also hopes to be eligible to play for the U.S. national team. His participation with Cuba normally would bar him from playing for another country, but his attorney is contacting FIFA about his case. (A loophole exists that might apply to Alonso.)
"I'm not allowed to play anymore with Cuba, so I think I'll have the opportunity to play with the U.S. national team," he said. "If the opportunity comes, it's something I want to do. I'm very happy for that."