Reno 1868 FC forward Luis Paradela could become the first Cuban player competing professionally in the United States to compete for his country when it takes on the Stars and Stripes at Audi Field on Saturday. | Photo courtesy David Calvert / Reno 1868 FC
TAMPA, Fla. – Recent Reno 1868 FC addition Luis Paradela could make history for the Cuba Men’s National Team this week after being selected for the country’s Concacaf Nations League contest against the United States this Friday at Audi Field.
Paradela made history in August when he became the first Cuban national to sign for a professional sports franchise in the United States on a P-1A Athlete visa after being acquired by 1868 FC on loan from Universidad San Carlos in Guatemala. He could now become the first player to compete for Cuba while competing professionally in the United States should he see action against the Stars and Stripes.
“We’re happy that he’s been called up. It’s a really good opportunity for him to play against a quality opponent like the United States,” said 1868 FC Head Coach Ian Russell. “As a young player, it’s always good to keep getting international matches to continue his development.”
Paradela is one of 25 players in the USL Championship and League One to have been called into international duty this month, with a large contingent of players also set for Concacaf Nations League action. Among those are four players named to Haiti’s squad to face Costa Rica on Thursday night and five players in the Jamaica squad to face Aruba in a home-and-home series starting on Saturday night.
USL Championship foes could square off on Thursday night with Honduras and Real Monarchs SLC forward Douglas Martinez set to visit Trinidad & Tobago, which includes in its squad the Charleston Battery’s Ataulla Guerra and the Memphis 901 FC duo of Duane Muckette and Leston Paul.
The Battery’s Zeiko Lewis and Bermuda will also be in action on Friday night as they welcome Mexico to the Bermuda National Stadium looking to pull a surprise result against the Concacaf powerhouse.
Afghanistan - Adam Najem (Memphis 901 FC)
Bermuda – Zeiko Lewis (Charleston Battery)
Cuba – Luis Paradela (Reno 1868 FC)
El Salvador – Juan Barahona (Sacramento Republic FC)
French Guiana - Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC)
Grenada – AJ Paterson (Charleston Battery)
Guam – Shane Malcolm (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC)
Guatemala – Allen Yanes (New York Red Bulls II)
Haiti – Jems Geffrard (Fresno FC), Zach Herivaux (Birmingham Legion FC), Ronaldo Damus (North Texas SC), Christiano Francois (Ottawa Fury FC)
Honduras – Douglas Martinez (Real Monarchs SLC)
Jamaica – Junior Flemmings (Phoenix Rising FC), Je-Vaughn Watson (OKC Energy FC), Shaun Francis (Louisville City FC), Speedy Williams (Louisville City FC), Chavany Willis (Bethlehem Steel FC)
Trinidad & Tobago – Mekeil Williams (OKC Energy FC), Alvin Jones (OKC Energy FC), Leston Paul (Memphis 901 FC), Duane Muckette (Memphis 901 FC), Nathan Lewis (Lansing Ignite FC), Atualla Guerra (Charleston Battery), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven)
Venezuela U-23 – Jose Hernandez (ATL UTD 2)