Five Cuban players walked out of a Tampa hotel, hoping to find freedom, and for some, a chance for a better fate for their soccer playing careers. Two more players followed their lead a day later.
What will happen next? For team captain Yenier Bermudez and goalkeeper Jose Manuel Miranda, who were definitely impressive against the U.S. national team, I have to imagine both will get good looks from MLS clubs, or does MLS make the players spend time passing through the USL ranks as they get their political asylum situations in order?
Cuban defectors have had mixed results relating to MLS. Rey Angel Martinez one season with the Colorado Rapids while Maykel Galindo has emerged as one of the top forwards in MLS. The last two Cuban soccer defectors, Lestor More and Osvaldo Alonso, have yet to break into MLS despite trials with Chivas USA. More recently signed with the Charleston Battery while Alonso has been on trial recently with the Columbus Crew.
What do you think will happen next for the Cuban defectors? Will they become MLS stars in a few years? USL stars? Will they fade into oblivion? Share your thoughts below.