Two Cuban footballers flee team hotel at US tournament

Midfielder Arguellez and striker Garcia have disappeared during the ongoing CONCACAF Gold Cup.

    Cuba were crushed 6-0 by Mexico [Getty Images]
    Cuba were crushed 6-0 by Mexico [Getty Images]

    A second Cuban footballer has defected during the CONCACAF Gold Cup being played in the US and Canada leaving the squad down to 15 for Sunday's match against Trinidad and Tobago, according to assistant team coach Walter Benitez.

    Midfielder Arael Arguellez fled Cuba's hotel following in the footsteps of striker Kailen Garcia, who deserted the team before last Thursday's Group C debut against Mexico in Chicago.

    Garcia has turned up in Miami saying he wants "to live the American dream", Benitez told reporters on Saturday.

    "[Arguellez left] after the match against Mexico. We had got to the hotel, we had dinner and he left," Benitez said.

    Cuba has a long history of sporting defections and six players abandoned their football team at the 2013 Gold Cup in the US.

    Benitez is temporarily in charge of the team, crushed 6-0 by Mexico, because head coach Raul Gonzalez and six players have not yet managed to obtain visas to enter the US.

    He said they hoped Gonzalez and the players would arrive on Sunday ahead of Cuba's second match at Phoenix University's stadium against the Trinidadians, who won their opening match 3-1 against Guatemala.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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