Whatever happened to the two Cuban players who bolted from the national team's hotel in Virginia before the World Cup qualifier against the USA last month?
Both forward Reinier Alcantara and midfielder Pedro Faife are now in Los Angeles working with an immigration attorney in an effort to gain work permits and, ultimately, citizenship. They defected on different days, unaware of the other's plans, and took separate paths to California. Both have been in contact with Chivas USA forward Maykel Galindo, a Cuban who defected three years ago while with the national team in Seattle.
Alcantara, who recounted his escape to the Post, was driven to Atlanta from the Washington area. In order to get to Los Angeles, he also had to travel by car. (Without a valid ID, he is not allowed to fly.) Along the way, his representative received a call from the Kansas City Wizards, who lined up a four-day workout. It is unclear whether the Wizards have submitted a discovery claim to the league office. Alcantara is hoping to train with other MLS or USL clubs this winter.
"He just wants to fulfill his dream and become a professional soccer player," his rep said. "In Cuba, that was not possible. We're hoping he will get other opportunities soon."
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