Report: Cuba defender Yonaldi Garcia Correa has defected prior to US match

2019.10.11 cuba team

Yonaldi Garcia Correa has become the first member of the Cuba national team to defect to the United States during their trip to face the US national team in a Concacaf Nations League match on Friday in Washington (7 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, TUDN), ADN Cuba reports.

Such defections are common for Cuban players and teams traveling to North America. Five defected during the side's previous CNL trip to Toronto, as well as four during this summer's Concacaf Gold Cup, according to ADN.

Meanwhile, Correa's now-former international teammate Luis Paradela has become the first Cuban national to ply his soccer trade in the U.S. without defecting after being approved for a work visa to play with the USL's Reno 1868 FC. Paradela's move was made possible partly because he was being loaned from a pro club in Guatemala.

Correa has also been involved with Cuba's Olympic qualifying effort, as well this past summer's Gold Cup squad.