New York Cosmos to visit Cuba for first football match in 37 years
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New York Cosmos to visit Cuba for first football match in 37 years

A Cuban official says the New York Cosmos will face off against the Caribbean country’s national team in June, becoming the first professional U.S. football club to play on the island in 37 years.

The announcement comes as Washington and Havana are negotiating the restoration of diplomatic relations that were severed shortly after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

Cuban Football Association vice president Antonio Garcés confirmed Tuesday that the Cosmos will play in Cuba on June 2.

He called it “a great step, very beneficial for our football.”

The last U.S. club to visit the island was the Chicago Sting in 1978.

The Cosmos compete in the second-tier North American Soccer League. Their roster includes Raul González, a longtime star with Spain’s national team and club powerhouse Real Madrid.

Associated Press