YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Two Cuban Players Missing

January 26, 2002|Grahame L. Jones

Two Cuban soccer players in Los Angeles to compete in the CONCACAF Gold Cup have apparently skipped out on their team with the intention of defecting.

Attacking midfielder Rey Angel Martinez and forward Alberto Delgado were reported missing by Cuban delegation officials on Thursday night. Martinez, 21, and Delgado, 23, both of whom play for Ciudad Habana in the Cuban league, supposedly told El Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald's Spanish-language edition, that they wanted to stay in the United States and play in Major League Soccer.

No one from either MLS or CONCACAF, which is staging the 12-nation Gold Cup tournament in Pasadena and Miami, was available for comment Friday evening.

Cuba, which lost, 1-0, to the United States at the Rose Bowl on Monday, was eliminated from the tournament by a scoreless tie with South Korea on Wednesday.

The 23-member Cuban team was staying at a hotel in Burbank and the players had been under tight security. According to reports, Martinez and Delgado made their escape with the help of a friend who lives in the area.

They told El Nuevo Herald that they intended to travel to Miami.


Grahame L. Jones

Los Angeles Times Articles