Posted on October 13, 2012
Having players jump ship from their respective national teams, whether at the full senior level or Under-23 level, has become a regular occurrence when the Caribbean side plays in the United States or Canada.
On Saturday, FIFA confirmed that three players defected from the Cuban National Team on Thursday, a day prior to its World Cup qualifier in Toronto. It was not known on Saturday if the three men had crossed the border into the U.S.
At the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Rey Angel Martinez, who most recently played for the Rochester Lancers in the Major Indoor Soccer League, and Alberto Delgado decided to leave the team during the competition in Los Angeles.
Striker Maykel Galindo, who starred for Chivas in 2007-2008 and played for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer, jumped ship during the 2005 Gold Cup. He most recently performed for the Los Angeles Blues in the USL PRO.
Osvaldo Alonso, who performs for Seattle Sounders FC, and Lester Moore, left the National Team during the 2007 Gold Cup.
Cuba was hurt by defections during two separate events in the U.S. in 2008.
During the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Tampa, seven players left Cuba’s Under-23 team, including Yeniel Bermudez, Yordany Alvarez and Yendry Diaz.
Two days prior to the Caribbean country’s World Cup qualifier against the U.S. in Washington, D.C., two players — left the team’s hotel near the nation’s capital.
During the 2011 Gold Cup, Yosniel Mesa decided to defect while the team was in Charlotte, N.C. for a game.
In January at the 2012 women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver, two women defected for the first time — forward Yezenia Gallardo, regarded as the team’s best player, and midfielder Yunelsis Rodriguez.
During the CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Nashville, Tenn. in March, Yosmel de Armas defected from the Cuban U-23 team.
Photo: Maykel Galindo (left), plaing against the U.S. in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, defected to the United States. Scott Bales/YCJ
Categories: Canada, Caribbean, Cuba, North America, U.S.A.
Tags: Alberto Delgato, Chivas USA, CONCACAF, FIFA, Lester More, Maykel Galindo, Osvaldo Alonso, Rey Angel Martinez, Yendry Diaz., Yeniel Bermudez, Yezinia Gallardo, Yordany Alvarez, Yosmel de Armas, Yunelsis Rodriguez