A Cuban footballer has disappeared before the Nations League game against the United States on Friday night at Audi Field, the last obvious defect of a men's national team player.
Yonaidis Garcia, a 22-year-old defender, left the delegation shortly after taking office in Washington on Thursday, according to ADN Cuba, a news site that cited an anonymous source.
Concacaf, the association responsible for the competition, said on Friday afternoon that the Cuban Football Federation had announced this. Garcia "will not travel to the stadium with the team" and would not be allowed to play on Friday. It postponed further comments against the Cuban Association.
Garcia played in the Olympic qualifiers for Cuba's U23 squad, but did not appear in any of the two internationals of the senior national team against Canada. He was in Cuba's 40-man provisional squad for the Concacaf Gold Cup last summer, but failed to make the final decision.
Four Cuban players were beaten during the Gold Cup. Twelve left the team last year during a U20 tournament in Florida. Four years ago, several players were missing.
The last time the senior team played for a World Cup qualifier in Washington eleven years ago, two players ran out of the Crystal City team hotel and did not return.
Since 1999, more than 50 Cuban footballers, notably long-time MLS midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, have been substituted during their US and Canadian operations.
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