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Defected Cuban midfielder Mesa training with Fort Lauderdale

Yosniel Mesa is training with North American Soccer League outfit Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

The 27-year old midfielder, who defected from Cuba earlier this month, is looking to win a contract with the Florida club so he can continue his playing career away from his home country.

Following Cuba's loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Mesa walked out of the team hotel in Charlotte without telling anyone and drove to Miami, to be with his uncles.

Mesa has left behind his mother and 5-year old daughter, and although it was a difficult decision, said it is the best thing for his career.

"It was a difficult decision," Mesa said. "The difficulty being the family you have to leave behind in Cuba.

"I had made the decision to defect when I was already in Cuba. It could have happened before, but this was an opportunity that rose up that I needed to take."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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