HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 5 (acn) Coaches Juergen Klinsmann and Raul Mederos, from the United States and Cuba, respectively, announced their lists for the friendly match to be played on Friday at the Pedro Marrero Stadium in Havana.
Klinsmann, of German origin, chose 23 outstanding athletes, including figures playing in several of the world’s best leagues. The United States gets ready to take part in the final round of the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean
Association Football), which will grant tickets for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The group includes forward Christian Pulisic, who plays for the German Borussia Dortmund club, defender/midfielder Fabian Johnson (Germany´s Borussia Moenchengladbach), winger Julian Green (Germany´s Bayern Munich), defender Omar Gonzalez (Mexico´s Pachuca) and veteran midfielder and captain Michael Bradley and striker Jozy Altidore (both already at MLS with Toronto FC).
Fifteen out of these 23 U.S. players attended the WC qualifying matches in September, while both Bradley and midfielder Sacha Kljestan are the only survivors of the last game in Cuba between both teams, as part of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.
That match was played on September 6, 2008, and visitors won 1-0 with goal scored by Clint Dempsey, who now could not join the team due to an injury.
Meanwhile, to face the powerful U.S. squad, Mederos, debutant coach who won the national title this year with Villa Clara, chose several players who were part of the team that won the bronze medal at the Veracruz 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Such are the cases of forward Maykel Reyes, currently playing for Mexico’s Cruz Azul Hidalgo, defensive midfielder Daniel Luis Saez, attacking midfielder Arichel Hernandez and goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez.
The Cuban team also includes players with more international experience, such as midfielders Alberto Gomez and Carlos Domingo Francisco, and goalkeeper Diosvely Guerra.
The other members of the local team are Yasniel Lopez, Dairon Blanco, Yasnay Rivero, Geandrys Megret, Josel Piedra, Yasmani Lopez, Erik Rizo, Roberney Caballero, Yoelvis Gonzalez, Duxney Espinosa, Eddygelqui Olivares, Roberto Peraza and David Urgelles.