Sunday, September 7, 2008

U.S. Invades Cuba.... Soccer Style!

The U.S. Men's Soccer team played in Cuba on Saturday night for the first time in more than 60 years, but they did so in front of only five American fans. Sam's Army, as it's called, has been traveling pretty well to these World Cup Qualifying Matches, but Cuba wasn't an easy ticket to acquire. You know, because of the whole embargo on traveling thing.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl met up with the "Cuba Cinco" as they are called, earlier this week:

"On Thursday night I met up in the Plaza Vieja with five hardcore U.S. soccer fans who defied the U.S. government’s ban on unlicensed travel to Cuba and got into the country by flying separately through a third country. I won’t be naming them here for obvious reasons, so I’ll call them the Cuba Cinco: four men and one woman ranging in ages from 28 to 38 and hailing from California (two), New York (two) and Colorado.

“It was pretty much a no-brainer,” said one who travels to every U.S. road qualifier. “The U.S. is playing Cuba and we follow the U.S. team. Then there’s the historical significance of the game. For people who are really fans you can’t miss it. The team’s playing here, embargo be damned. We’re not going to make a political statement. We’re just going to watch the game and take in a new culture.” "

Pretty interesting article if you have a few minutes, and can get past the whole soccer thing. As far as the game itself, the United States won 1-0 thanks to the foot of Clint Dempsey.


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