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Cubas Soccer Team Coach Says 2 Players Are Missing
Pedro Faife, 24, and Reynier Alcantara, 26, walked away from their team before a scheduled practice at RFK Stadium last night, coach Reinhold Fanz said. "It is always a problem for the Cuba team," Fanz said. "We have security, but you can't handcuff them to their rooms."

Since 2002, 12 Cuban soccer players have defected while in the United States for a competition. The most recent incident was in the spring, when seven players from the under-23 team defected while in Tampa for the Olympic qualifying tournament.

Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, said the players were not in ICE custody, which would be a first step toward their legal defection. Like all Cuban nationals who arrive on U.S. soil, the players would be eligible to remain here under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. Many high-profile Cuban baseball players have decided to stay in the United States over the years, often to sign major-league contracts, but it is unclear whether the Cuban soccer players are considering offers to play for U.S. teams


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