USA to play Cuba in a friendly for first time since 1947

The U.S. will travel to Cuba amid ongoing political discussion.

U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that the USMNT will travel to Havana, Cuba for a friendly on October 7. It will be the first time the two have met in a friendly since 1947. They have met in Gold Cups and World Cup qualifying many times, but this will be the first friendly arranged between the two in nearly 70 years.

The match will take place in Estadio Pedro Marrero in the capital of Cuba. It will be shown on ESPN and Univision, while the kickoff time has yet to be determined.

“We are happy to have the chance to bring our team to Cuba,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a press release. “In addition to good competition, we are always looking for our group to have different experiences, and this is a unique opportunity.”

In July of 2015, the U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961, allowing for such sporting events to happen. Earlier this year the Tampa Bay Rays traveled there and played an exhibition game against the Cuban national team.

With the fourth round of World Cup qualifying being completed in September, this friendly should offer Klinsmann a chance to experiment with player selection and other aspects of the team.

Rob Usry, starsandstripesfc.com

June 30, 2016

 

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