Cuban Fugitive is MLS Star
Osvaldo Alonso plays for Seattle Sounders and is now an American resident.
Osvaldo Alonso will probably not get to play in a World Cup and might never get the chance to represent his country again, as the Cuban Football Federation is unlikely to forgive him for his decision to turn his back on his country and national side in 2007.
The main feature of the so-called "Cuban Adjustment Act" is the fact that if a Cuban steps foot on American soil and stays there for one year, they become a resident of the country.
"What is my dream? To have the chance to play for the Cuban national side again", Alonso shyly said.
In 2007, a few months before the start of the Gold Cup in the U.S.A., Alonso plotted his escape: "I prepared everything from Cuba. I knew for certain that I wanted to stay in the U.S".
Alonso left the Cuban camp with the aim of becoming a U.S. citizen. "It meant leaving everything behind, my country, my family, my friends. It was a hard decision, but I was sure that what I did was right. Life has proved that I did the right thing and I have no regrets".
The Cuban also had to leave his club, FC Pinar del Río. He first joined South Carolina side Charleston Battery, where he made a name for himself in the USL Professional Division. Alonso then signed for Seatle Sounders, became the team's undisputed ball-winning defensive midfielder. "My idol is Zinedine Zidane and I also really like Xavi (Hernández), but I think I'm more like (Claude) Makelele", he said smiling.