It’s an age-old story of looking for a better life, one that happens often at the Concacaf Gold Cup. This time it was four members of the Cuban national team who defected after the team’s first game against Guatemala, a 1-0 defeat.
Roberney Caballero, Carlos Denilson Morales, Neisser Sando and Jassael Herrera all failed to show up for the team’s flight from Miami to Houston. They are the 55th footballers to leave the national team in mid tournament while playing on US soil.
The Cuban national team is set to face Guadeloupe on Sunday in their second match at the Concacaf Gold Cup. Last year alone it is reported that 313,000 Cuban nationals fled the island to the United States.
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Information on the Cuban national team
Unlike years past many Cuban soccer players are playing abroad, this edition of the Cuban national team has players playing professionally in Uruguay, Costa Rica, second division in the United States, Austria, and Guatemala.
Cuba participated only one time in the FIFA World Cup; it was in France 1938 and made it to the quarter finals. The team would lose to Sweden 8-0, and after that had modest showings at the Concacaf Gold Cup. Cuba is ranked 163 in the FIFA Rankings.