Reinier Alcántara

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Reinier Alcántara
Personal information
Full name Reinier Alcántara Nuñez
Date of birth (1982-01-14) January 14, 1982 (age 35)
Place of birth Pinar del Río, Cuba
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Pinar del Río
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2008 Pinar del Río 90 (50)
2009–2010 Miami FC 12 (0)
National team
2005–2008 Cuba 22 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 October 2009.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 September 2009

Reinier Alcántara Núñez (born January 14, 1982 in Pinar del Río) is a Cuban soccer player who most recently for Miami FC in the USL First Division.



Alcántara made his debut with FC Pinar del Río at age of 15 and played with the team until the time of his defection to the United States. Has won Cuban league MVP award in 2006 and 2007[citation needed], although this has not earned him much reward in his home nation because Cuban players are not permitted to sign professional contracts.

Alcántara defected from Cuba to the United States in 2008 in the hope of a securing professional career.[1] Following his defection he trialed with several Major League Soccer clubs, including Chivas USA who filed a discovery claim on him following the 2008 season, which means that whomever the MLS awards the claim will have first rights to sign him to a professional contract.

Having not been offered an MLS contract, Alcántara joined Miami FC of the USL First Division. for the 2009 season.


Alcántara was a member of Cuba's under 17 and 23 teams and in 2005 made his debut for the senior Cuban National Team in a 2005 Gold Cup qualification match against Haiti. During the 2007 Gold Cup on 8 June 2007 at Giants Stadium he scored the first goal of the match against Mexico.[2] Alcántara has been capped 18 times for the national team,[3] but he is not expected to make any more appearances for the national team since his defection to the United States.

Defection to the United States[edit]

Alcántara defected to the United States when he disappeared from his hotel outside of Washington, D.C. before a CONCACAF 3rd round World Cup qualifier against the United States on 11 October 2008.[4]

Alcántara planned his defection before he even left Cuba.[1][4] He fled from the Cuban team's coaches and security at his hotel before the match.[1] He eventually met up with a friend who drove him to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began his legal defection to the United States.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Kaufman, Michelle (13 October 2008). "Cuban soccer player: Freedom worth risk". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 28 October 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ Saaid, Hamdan (19 July 2007). "CONCACAF Championship, Gold Cup 2007 - Full Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  3. ^ "Americans rout Cuba to advance in World Cup football qualifiers". Google. AFP. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Boadle, Anthony (11 October 2008). "Two Cuban soccer players defect in Washington". Yahoo! Sports. Reuters. Retrieved 28 October 2008. 

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