Cuba's Gold Cup Squad Only Has 16 Players Right Now

After some customs hold-ups and a possible defection, Cuba is left with only 16 players for its Gold Cup match against Mexico.

Poor Cuba. This always happens to them when they come to the U.S. Perhaps they thought it would be different now that relations between them and the U.S. are on the up and up, their players wouldn't defect during the tournament.

A delusion, if you ask me. 

According to NBC Soccer, six Cuban players and head coach Raul Gonzalez are waiting for some VISA issues to clear up, and therefore will not be available for tonight's game against Mexico. 

Plus, one player, who officials are declining to name (we'll just have to see who isn't on the bench tonight) but who apparently is a "first choice player," is missing, likely even as I type planning his new life in the United States.

The Cuban National Team is left with 16 players for the Mexico contest, so they at least have enough for a full 11 and three subs. It's going to be embarassing for the two guys who don't get to play though.

The possible defection comes as no surprise. Cuban athletes have been disappearing from athletic contests for years. Maybe if the Castro brothers made their country a better place to live, they wouldn't have this problem.

Contact The18 Staff Writer Sam Klomhaus at or follow him on Twitter @SamKlomhaus

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