Another tournament, another defection. The Washington Post is reporting that two members of the Cuban National Team defected prior to Saturday's World Cup qualifier. That brings this year's grand total to nine.
Seeing as how you could almost field an entire team with this year's defections, it seemed like a good time to give a full list of those who have wandered away from their hotels to try their luck in MLS/USL. Here's the list as I understand it, annotated with where these players ended up.
Full national team: Reinier Alcantara and Pedro Faife
Under-23 team: Yordany Alvarez and Yenier Bermudez signed with Guaynabo Fluminese FC in Puerto Rico. As near as I can tell their teammates Erlys Garcia Baro, Yendry Diaz, Jose Manuel Miranda, Loanni Prieto and Eder Roldan have not signed contracts with any teams.
Lester More and Osvaldo Alonso both signed with the USL1 Charleston Battery. More made 12 appearances for the Battery in 2008, while Alonso scooped up this year's USL1 Rookie of the Year award.
Maykel Galindo walked away from the team during the Gold Cup. I wrote about him in a previous post.
Alberto Delgado and Rey Angel Martinez defected during the 2002 Gold Cup in Los Angeles. Both of them have had pretty decent careers. The pair signed with the Colorado Rapids, making 14 and eight appearances respectively in 2004. Delgado moved on to the USL1 Puerto Rico Islanders where he has featured over 30 times. Martinez latched on with the Rochester Raging Rhinos where he appeared in 60 games before switching to his current team, the USL1 Carolina Railhawks.