The Miami Herald weighs in with a great feature on Cuban midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and his defection from Cuba. The article provides background on his escape and describes his soccer life in the United Stats. Osvaldo is now an American citizen and is exploring the options for representing his new country in international soccer. While there are visa rules and procedures for athletes seeking to ply their trade in the U.S., Cuba presents an interesting exception. The “Wet feet, dry feet” policy, established by the Clinton Administration, is unique to Cuba and permits any Cuban who makes it to U.S. shores to remain in the U.S. (See Cuban Adjustment Act). Thus, players who walk away from international competitions in the U.S. are afforded the opportunity to immediately seek work in the United States. In addition to an escape from Castro, these asylum seekers have an opportunity to earn huge wage increases by coming to the U.S.
The Preseason tournaments in Carolina, Tucson and Orlando are heating up and local coverage of the events has been solid. In Arizona, the Daily Star has provided game summaries and provided some focus on the Red Bulls/Revolution match thanks to the local connection of Red Bulls’ goalie Luis Robales. In Orlando, the Sentinel has also focused its coverage on a local subject, Orlando City, in discussing the Pro Soccer Classic. For the latest article from Orlando, click here. Finally, the Post & Courier of Charleston, SC has also provided some detailed coverage of the city’s annual preseason soccer event. Local favorite Battery fell to Vancouver before a crowd of more than 4,000 on Saturday. The article can be found here. One final note about Arizona, according to this article, MLS is looking to make its relationship with Tucson permanent.
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