New York Cosmos to play Cuban national squad in June

Cuba-US: Five Changes That Are Transforming the Island
Cuba-US: Five Changes That Are Transforming the Island

HAVANA (AP) -- 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. soccer 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 Soccer Association vice president Antonio Garces confirmed Tuesday that the Cosmos will play in Cuba on June 2.

He called it "a great step, very beneficial for our soccer."

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 Gonzalez, a longtime star with Spain's national team and club powerhouse Real Madrid.

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