US national team set for historic friendly visit to Cuba

The US national team is set for a historic visit to Cuba for an international friendly that will take place in Havana on October 7 at Estadio Pedro Marrero.

This was the first time since 1947 that the U.S. team visit Cuba, making it their second friendly visit to the island nation in 69 years.

Both teams previously met competitively in Havana in 2008 during the 2010 South Africa World Cup qualifiers, with the US team winning 1-0. Clint Dempsey scored the winning goal for USA to qualify for the finals while Cuba was eliminated in the third round.

They met again in Baltimore in last year’s Gold Cup; Dempsey netted four as his team cruised to 6-0 victory.

US Soccer confirmed the match, a result of US President Barack Obama’s effort to pursue improved Cuban-American relations after more than 50 years of hostility between both countries.

“We are happy to have the chance to bring our team to Cuba,” said US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

“In addition to good competition, we are always looking for our group to have different experiences, and this is a unique opportunity.”

The US team recently finished fourth at Copa America Centenario, and will play two more qualifiers for the 2018 Russian World Cup before visiting Cuba.

Currently second in their four-team World Cup qualifying group, the US team is up against St Vincent and the Grenadines on 2 September, and take on Trinidad & Tobago four days later.

The final qualifying round of six teams, also known as the Hex, begins in November, with three teams advancing directly to the final tournament in Russia.

 

 

 

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