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Yosniel Mesa of Cuba defects during Gold Cup

Yosniel Mesa of Cuba defects during Gold CupChronicle News ServicesMonday, June 13, 2011

A Cuban soccer player has defected during CONCACAF's Gold Cup tournament, leaving the team in Charlotte, N.C.

In an interview aired Sunday on Univision, Yosniel Mesa, 30, said he wanted to play professionally, which is not possible in Cuba.

Cuba lost 5-0 to Mexico in Charlotte on Thursday night. After the game, Mesa said, he climbed down a fire-escape ladder and ran to a car where family members were waiting. Mesa was listed as "injured" on Cuba's roster for Sunday's 6-1 loss to El Salvador in Chicago. The team left Soldier Field immediately after the game, with coach Raul Gonzalez skipping the postgame news conference.

– Mexico cruised into the Gold Cup quarterfinals when Andres Guardado scored twice and Rafael Marquez and Pablo Barrera each added a goal in a 4-1 victory over Costa Rica.

– In MLS, Graham Zusi scored twice, once off a stunning 50-yard free kick in the 55th minute, as Sporting Kansas City beat host FC Dallas 4-1 to end a 10-game winless stretch. … Cristian Nazarit scored on a rebound in stoppage time to lift the Chicago Fire over the Columbus Crew 1-0, ending an 11-game winless streak.

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