It’s a friendly for the ages: the NASL’s New York Cosmos will make history tonight in Havana with a match against the Cuban National Team, with the first visiting pro sports team from the United States since 1999.
It’s been a long time since an American professional sports team has played in Cuba: According to the Cosmos, the 1999 Baltimore Orioles was the lastprofessional U.S. sports team to compete in Cuba, and the first time a professional soccer club from the States has played there since 1978, when the Chicago Sting visited. And while Major League Baseball is expected to play an exhibition game in Spring Training 2016, tonight’s Cosmos match will be the first.
Interestingly, the match will take place at a former baseball ballpark, Estadio Pedro Marrero, Havana, Cuba. Our sister site, Ballpark Digest, has a piece about the ballparks of Cuba that includes information about what was once the best ballpark in the country. Today, the facility is in middling shape; it should be interesting to see the condition of the field for tonight’s play.
The match, which begins at 5 p.m. ET, will be televised on One World Sports, ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN.
More on the Cosmos and their opponent from the team’s website. Definitely worth a read.
Photos by John Moist.