U.S. MNT Ready to Take on Cuba on Saturday, Oct. 11 in Semifinal Roud of Qualifying
The U.S. Men's National Team has a chance to secure their berth in the Final Round of World Cup qualifying with a win over Cuba on Saturday, Oct. 11 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., looking to make it a perfect four wins in Semifinal Group 1. Kickoff for Saturday's match, which can be seen live on ESPN Classic and Galavision, is set for 7 p.m. ET and fans can also follow the game live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
Oct. 9, 2008
• Eighteen players are eligible to dress for both the U.S. and Cuba, and must wear jersey numbers 1-18.
• Michael Bradley, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey, Frankie Hejduk, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu are each carrying a caution into this match. Any player accumulating two cautions in the qualifying will serve a one-game suspension in the next FIFA World Cup qualifier.
• Cuba’s Roberto Linares was red carded in the second half of their last match vs. Guatemala and is not eligible against the U.S. Eight Cubans, Yosvani Caballeros, Alain Cervantes, Jorge Luis Clavelo, Jaime Colomé, Reysander Fernandez, Yeniel Márquez, Danis Quintero and Luis Villegas, carry yellow cards into the match.
• Five players, Troy Perkins, Michael Orozco, Jose Francisco Torres, Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies are looking for their first World Cup Qualifying cap, while three – Perkins, Orozco and Torres – are looking to debut with the first team.
• The U.S. has shutout opponents in a record six consecutive games. The last player to crack the U.S. defense was Spain’s Xavi Hernandez in the 79th minute of a 1-0 victory vs. the U.S. on June 4.
• Dating back to the Semifinal Round of 2006 qualifying, the U.S. has won six consecutive qualifiers, a record. The team has tied a record set during Final Round qualifying for 2006 with five consecutive wins in one cycle.
• The 23 U.S. players in training camp for this game ply their trade in 14 different leagues in 12 different countries. The countries represented are: England (4), USA (4), Germany (3), France (2), Mexico (2), Scotland (2), Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
• Eleven players on the U.S. roster have few than 10 caps, and only five players have more than 50 caps, including Cherundolo, who hit the half century mark in the last match.
• With an appearance vs. Cuba, Tim Howard will be tied for fifth-place all-time in appearances for a goalkeeper with Arnie Mausser (1975-1983). He is already fourth behind Kasey Keller, Brad Friedel and Tony Meola in starts, wins and shutouts.
• Bob Bradley has started the quartet of Cherundolo, Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra and Heath Pearce six times, with England and Spain the only teams to score against them. Together this group has recorded four of the USA’s eight shutouts.
• The U.S. has a 6-1-1 record all-time vs. Cuba, including 2-0-1 in World Cup qualifying.
• In the last meeting in Havana on Sept. 6, the U.S. posted a 1-0 victory on a goal by Dempsey.
• All four of Dempsey’s team-leading four goals in 2008 have come in qualifiers.
• Bradley and Pearce have started all five U.S. qualifiers this cycle.
• The U.S. is playing its sixth World Cup qualifier at RFK Stadium and holds a 3-1-1 record in three Semifinal Round matches and two Final Round matches.
• The U.S. boasts a 11-2-6 all-time record against Caribbean nations during World Cup qualifying.
• In the latest FIFA World Rankings issued this week, the U.S. moved up seven places to 21st and is now ranked as the top team in CONCACAF ahead of Mexico, who remained 24th.
• Landon Donovan has the most qualifying caps (24), and goals (8) of any player on the roster.
• Donovan is tied for third on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list in FIFA World Cup qualifying. Brian McBride is the USA’s all-time leading goalscorer in FIFA World Cup Qualifying with 10 goals scored over three FIFA World Cup cycles (1998, 2002, 2006). Eddie Johnson also has eight goals.
• The U.S. collected a 12-2-4 record in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, outscoring their opponents 35-11 while collecting 11 shutouts. The U.S. finished undefeated at home during the qualifying campaign, going 8-0-1, with all eight victories coming by shutout.
• Donovan became the fourth youngest male player in history to reach 100 caps when he went 90 minutes on June 8 against Argentina.
OFF TO A FLYING START: The U.S. has begun the rigorous road that is CONCACAF qualifying with impressive numbers, collecting an unblemished 5-0-0 record with 14 goals scored and not a single surrendered. Consider this:
• The U.S. has won five consecutive qualifiers, tying the record for most consecutive games one in one cycle (set during qualifying for Germany 2006).
• The U.S. has posted three straight road victories in qualifying for the first time ever
• Including the 2-0 win against Panama on Oct. 12, 2005, the U.S. has won every game and has not been scored upon in their last six World Cup qualifiers.
• The win against Guatemala was the first-ever in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Guatemalan soil, and only the second victory there in 20 years.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 2/2 SO), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 6/5 SO), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF: 0/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 16/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 2/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96: 17/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC: 1/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 13/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 11/0), Michael Orozco (San Luis: 0/0), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 5/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco: 1/0), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 19/4), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach: 5/2), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 3/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 3/0), Danny Szetela (Brescia Calcio: 1/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 0/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal C.F.: 0/0), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 9/4), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF: 0/0) Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 11/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 24/8)
D.C. CONNECTIONS: U.S. assistant coach Peter Nowak, midfielder Freddy Adu and goalkeeper Troy Perkins return to the home of their former club, D.C. United. Nowak served as the team’s head coach from 2004-2006, racking up a 42-27-25 career record that includes an MLS Cup title in his first season. Adu was the top pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by United and played with the club until 2006. That same year, Troy Perkins posted a league best record of 16-6-7 on the way to earning honors in 2006 as the Goalkeeper of the Year. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley also served as an assistant coach at D.C. United in 1996 and 1997.
NINE OLYMPIANS ON BOARD: The U.S. roster boasts nine players coming off their experience at the 2008 Olympic Games. Aston Villa ‘keeper Brad Guzan is coming off an outstanding performance at the 2008 Olympic Games, earning Sierra Mist Man of the Match honors in the gut-wrenching 2-1 loss to Nigeria that eliminated the squad from the tournament. Guzan posted clean sheets in both of the USA’s second round qualifying victories against Barbados. Defender Michael Orozco, in for his second senior team camp, appeared in all three Olympic matches. With the exception of DaMarcus Beasley, the entire U.S. midfielder was age eligible for the Olympics, although Jose Francisco Torres is in his first U.S. camp at any level and was not on the Olympic squad. Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan recorded two goals in China, and Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan and Danny Szetela all played in China. Up top, Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies represent the Olympic team.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Seven members of the U.S. roster made summer moves to new clubs. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra now patrols central defense for Rennes in the French first division after nearly five years at Fulham. Coming off a 20-goal season at SC Heerenveen, Michael Bradley celebrates turning 21 years old by heading to Borussia Moenchengladbach of the German Bundesliga, while Danny Califf stayed in Denmark and moved to FC Midtjylland after captaining Aalborg to the Danish Superligaen title.
Player Former Club New Club
Freddy Adu Benfica (Portugal) Monaco (France)
Jozy Altidore New York Red Bulls Villareal (Spain)
Carlos Bocanegra Fulham FC (England) Rennes (France)
Michael Bradley SC Heerenveen (Netherlands) Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)
Danny Califf Aalborg (Denmark) FC Midtjylland (Denmark)
Maurice Edu Toronto FC Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)
Brad Guzan Chivas USA Aston Villa (England)
BOB ON THE JOB: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 29 games under his belt, seeing 67 different players at least once, and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 in full swing, a review of the body of work during the past 20 months points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:
• Won five straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers, all by shutout
• Defended the CONCACAF Gold Cup title and qualified for the 2009 Confederations Cup
• Won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on 6/15/08)
• Won back-to-back games in Europe for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 at Switzerland and March 26, 2008 at Poland)
• Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 at Switzerland, Nov. 17 at South Africa and March 26, 2008 at Poland)
• Played five matches against four teams ranked in the Top 10 in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain)
• Played matches on four continents and in two major international tournaments
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
Goal For: 51
Goals Against: 25
Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 11-0-2, 30 GF, 6 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-4-1, 7 GF, 13 GA
UEFA: 4-3-0, 9 GF, 5 GA
AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA
CAF: 1-0-0, 1 GF, 0 GA
Record when …
When leading at half: 11-0-1
When losing at half: 1-2-0
When tied at half: 6-5-2
RFK RICH WITH QUALIFYING HISTORY: While it holds the dubious distinction of being the last place the U.S. Men lost a home qualifier, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium hosts the U.S. for the 18 times and has been the site of 10 U.S. wins - more than any stadium in the world. Overall, the U.S. is 10-3-4 on East Capitol Street. The last appearance for the U.S. in RFK was in the Semifinal Round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and resulted in a 6-0 win vs. Panama fueled by a second-half hat trick by Eddie Johnson. The aforementioned loss came vs. Honduras on Sept. 1, 2001, but that is sandwiched between three wins on either side, including a 1-0 win vs. Argentina in 1999. RFK has hosted five World Cup qualifiers, and the U.S. has posted a 3-1-1 record in those matches. Other memorable wins for the U.S. include a 3-1 win vs. Ireland in 1992, and a 4-0 win vs. Mexico in 1995, the largest margin of victory ever for the U.S. vs. their rival. What do those two matches have in common? Former U.S. and D.C. United midfielder, and current ESPN color analyst, John Harkes scored in each.
GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY: The 1-0 victory against Cuba earlier this round marked the USA’s 50th all-time win in qualifying play for the U.S. Overall, the U.S. holds a 51-30-28 lifetime record in FIFA World Cup qualifying action, posting a 37-9-16 mark since 1990. In the last three qualifying cycles, the U.S. boasts an impressive 27-1-6 record on home soil.
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CONCACAF WORLD CUP QUALIFYING RESET
USA TOPS GROUP 1 AFTER THREE: The U.S. sits in sole possession of first place with nine points from three matches and can clinch advancement to the Final Round of CONCACAF Qualifying with a win. Tied on four points, Guatemala is ahead of Trinidad & Tobago based on superior goal differential. The Chapines picked up an important road point in Port-of-Spain in their second game, then trounced Cuba with a 4-1 win in Guatemala City. The swing match could be Oct. 11 in Guatemala City, where Trinidad & Tobago will be looking to get back the points lost in the home leg. Cuba has yet to earn a point in the group, and could be eliminated if there is a winner in the Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala match. (Note: standings on cover page)
|Trinidad & Tobago||3||1||1||1||4||5||-1||4|
U.S. NEXT TRAVELS TO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Following the Cuba match, the U.S. jets to Trinidad & Tobago for the final road match of the semifinal round. Kickoff has been confirmed for 8 p.m. and the match will be broadcast on ESPN and Galavision. Bob Bradley will announce his travel roster for this game following the Cuba match and the MLS games on Oct. 11 and 12. The U.S. has an undefeated record in qualifying against Trinidad & Tobago, holding an 9-0-2 record. The two countries last met on Sept. 10 in Bridgeview, Ill., where the U.S. posted a 3-0 victory on goals by Michael Bradley (Sierra Mist Man of the Match), Clint Dempsey and Brian Ching. Tim Howard earned the shutout in goal.
Guatemala 0, USA 1
Cuba 1, Trinidad & Tobago 3
Cuba 0, USA 1
Trinidad & Tobago 1, Guatemala 1
USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Guatemala 4, Cuba 1
USA vs. Cuba
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Trinidad & Tobago vs. USA
Cuba vs. Guatemala
USA vs. Guatemala
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Cuba
Home Team Listed First
MEXICO, HONDURAS POISED TO ADVANCE: In Group 2, Mexico and Honduras have jumped into the lead as favorites to advance to the Hexagonal. Sven Goran-Eriksson's Mexico squad has three wins, and will clinch advancement with a win at Jamaica on Oct. 11. Honduras can clinch advancement with a win at home against winless Canada along with a Jamaica loss or tie.
Canada 1, Jamaica 1
Mexico 2, Honduras 1
Mexico 3, Jamaica 1
Canada 1, Honduras 2
Honduras 2, Jamaica 0
Mexico 2, Canada 1
Jamaica vs. Mexico
Honduras vs. Canada
Jamaica vs. Honduras
Canada vs. Mexico
Honduras vs. Mexico
Jamaica vs. Canada
COSTA RICA, EL SAVADOR IN THE DRIVERS SEAT: Group 3 produced the most lopsided results of the Semifinal Round on the second match day, with Costa Rica cruising to a 7-0 pummeling of Surinam, and El Salvador running past Haiti in a 5-0 win. At the halfway point, Costa Rica sits atop the table with nine points, while El Salvador is primed to advance in the second spot. Costa Rican can clinch advancement with a win at Suriname on Oct. 11. El Salvador can clinch advancement with a win at Haiti along with a Surinam loss or tie.
Costa Rica 1, El Salvador 0
Haiti 2, Surinam 2
El Salvador 5, Haiti 0
Costa Rica 7, Surinam 0
Surinam 0, El Salvador 1
Haiti 1, Costa Rica 3
Surinam vs. Costa Rica
Haiti vs. El Salvador
Costa Rica vs. Haiti
El Salvador vs. Surinam
Surinam vs. Haiti
El Salvador vs. Costa Rica
2004 SEMIFINAL ROUND REWIND: After handling Grenada in the home and home series in the second round, the U.S. advanced to Group 1 of the semifinal phase along with El Salvador, Panama and Jamaica. Like this time around, the U.S. opened on the road when they traveled to Kingston, Jamaica. An 89th minute goal from World Cup qualifying debutante Brian Ching delivered the U.S. the sought after point away from home in the 1-1 draw with Jamaica. The ever-reliable Cobi Jones would later follow suit, netting a 92nd minute equalizer against Panama to deliver yet another important draw. At home it was a different story, as a convincing shutout against El Salvador (2-0) set the stage for a record-setting performance from Eddie Johnson in the 6-0 pasting of Panama on Oct. 13, 2004, at RFK Stadium. Johnson became the first U.S. player in history to record a hat trick as a substitute. In that match, Oguchi Onyewu earned his first taste of qualifying action. Overall, the U.S. finished the group with an unbeaten 3-0-3 record and momentum heading into the final phase.
IN FOCUS: CUBA
CUBA FACT FILE
Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba
Founded: 1924 (Joined FIFA in 1932)
Head Coach: Reinhold Franz (Germany)
FIFA World Ranking: 98
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals, 1938 (8th)
Best CONCACAF Gold Cup Finish: Quarterfinals, 2003 (7th)
A ROUGH GO: Cuba has had a rough start through three games, sitting in last place in Group 1 with three loses and a minus six goal differential. They have scored just two goals, with Roberto Linares scoring in a 1-4 loss in Guatemala, and Yeniel Márquez scoring a late goal in a 1-3 loss to Trinidad & Tobago at home. Linares, who has started all three previous matches, was red carded in the second half against Guatemala and is not eligible for the U.S. match while three players -- Luis Villegas (USA), Jorge Luis Clavelo (USA), and Alain Cervantes (GUA) – carry yellow cards into the match. A total of five players eligible against the USA have played in the previous three qualifiers: Silvio Miñoso, Márquez, Clavelo, Carlos Domingo and Reysander Fernandez.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Cuba was drawn against the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda for the home-and-home series of the second round, and got quite a scare when the country of 70,000 people pushed them to the limit in the opening match. A goal by substitute Leonel Duarte in the 85th minute rescued three points for the Cubans, who then coasted to a 4-0 victory in the return leg in Havana and a place in the semifinal stage.
AGAINST THE U.S.: The U.S. holds a 6-1-1 lifetime record against Cuba dating back to 1947, posting four shutouts. All three of the four shutouts have come in Gold Cup competition, where the teams have met in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2005. Most recently, the U.S. topped Cuba on Sept. 6 in Cuba on a goal by Clint Dempsey in the away match. The U.S. has recorded 18 goals in the series, while the eight of nine goals surrendered coming in three matches prior to 1950. Nearly 50 years passed between meetings, the teams resuming the series in 1998 after last playing in a World Cup qualifier in 1949. The U.S. has twice posted five-goal performances against Cuba, including the 5-0 quarterfinal win last year and a 5-2 World Cup qualifying win Sept. 21, 1949, in Mexico City.
LAST MEETING: In their first trip to Havana in 61 years, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Cuba, 1-0, on Sept. 6, 2008, in Havana, in Group 1 of the Semifinal Round of FIFA World Cup qualifying. Clint Dempsey provided the game-winner with an opportunistic strike in the 40th minute to give the U.S. the three valuable points. Facing Cuba in Cuba for just the second time in history, the U.S. had to quickly get accustomed to a bumpy and uneven field that was also slick from rain that started a few hours before kickoff. Despite the tough conditions, the U.S. was solid defensively, while controlling possession and finding moments to get forward and create chances on goal. Defender Oguchi Onyewu was named Sierra Mist Man of the Match, and also started the play that led to the game-winning goal, hitting a long ball from the midfield stripe into the penalty area towards Dempsey and Brian Ching in the penalty area.
THE LAST TIME …
… the USA faced CUBA
September 6, 2008 | Estadio Pedro Marrero – Havana, Cuba | 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Semifinal Round
Scoring: 1 2 F
Cuba 0 0 0
USA 1 0 1 Dempsey (Ching) 40.
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 15-Heath Pearce, 3-Carlos Bocanegra-capt., 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 2-Frankie Hejduk; 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 12-Michael Bradley, 13-Maurice Edu, 8-Clint Dempsey (16-Sacha Kljestan, 77); 10-Landon Donovan, 11-Brian Ching
Subs Not Used: 18-Brad Guzan, 4-Ricardo Clark, 6-Marvell Wynne, 7-Eddie Lewis, 9-Eddie Johnson, 14-Danny Califf
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
CUB: 12-Odelin Molina; 2-Silvio Miñoso, 3-Yeniel Marquez, 5-Jorge Luis Clavelo-capt.; 11-Jenzy Muñoz (9-Alain Cervantes, 46), 13-Carlos Domingo, 14-Jaime Colome (17-Pedro Faife, 52), 16-Reysander Fernandez; 18-Heviel Cordovez, 7-Luis Villegas, 10-Roberto Linares (15-Leonel Duarte, 67)
Subs Not Used: 1-Danis Quintero, 4-Yosvani Caballeros, 6-Reinier Alcantara, 8-Alianas Urgelles
Head Coach: Reinhold Fanz
Cautions: Luis Villegas (CUB) 26, Michael Bradley (USA) 37, Frankie Hejduk (USA) 50, Jorge Luis Clavelo (CUB) 71; Ejections: none.
… on the field for the USA
September 10, 2008 | Toyota Park – Bridegview, Ill. | 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Semifinal Round
Scoring: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3 Bradley (Donovan) 9, Dempsey (Beasley) 18, Ching (Onyewu) 57.
Trinidad & Tobago 0 0 0
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 15-Heath Pearce, 3-Carlos Bocanegra-capt., 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 6-Steve Cherundolo; 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 12-Michael Bradley (4-Rico Clark, 67), 16-Sacha Kljestan, 8-Clint Dempsey (7-Eddie Lewis, 78); 10-Landon Donovan, 11-Brian Ching (9-Eddie Johnson, 67)
Subs Not Used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Frankie Hejduk, 13-Maurice Edu, 14-Danny Califf
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
TRI: 1-Marvin Phillip; 3-Akile Edwards, 5-Keyeno Thomas, 9-Makan Hislop, 8-Cyd Gray-capt.; 17-Keon Daniel, 4-Osei Telesford, 2-Clyde Leon, 7-Carlos Edwards; 12-Densil Theobald (14-Anthony Wolfe, 46), 13-Cornell Glenn
Subs Not Used: 18-Jan-Michael Williams, 6-Dennis Lawrence, 10-Andre Toussaint, 11-Jason Scotland, 15-Kerry Baptiste, 16-Julius James
Head Coach: Francisco Maturana
Cautions: Akile Edwards (TRI) 57, Steve Cherundolo (USA) 59, Clyde Leon (TRI) 59; Ejections: none.
… on the field for Cuba
September 10, 2008 | Estadio Mateo Flores – Guatemala City | 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Semifinal Round
Scoring: 1 2 F
Guatemala 1 3 4 Ruiz 38, 55, M. Rodriguez 85, Contreras 91.
Cuba 1 0 1 Linares 25.
GUA: 1-Ricardo Trigueno, 4-Yony Flores, 5-Carlos Gallardo, 7-Mario Rodriguez, 9-Carlos Ruiz (12-Jose Contreras, 81), 10-Freddy Garcia, 11-Guillermo Ramirez, 13-Marco Papa, 14-Luis Rodriguez, 15-Fredy Thompson (2-Carlos Castrillo, 46), 16-Jean Marquez (8-Gonzalo Romero, 77)
Subs Not Used: 3-Cristian Noriega, 6-Jonny Brown, 17-Abner Trigueros, 18-Luis Molina
Head Coach: Ramon Maradiago
CUB: 12-Odelin Molina; 2-Silvio Miñoso, 3-Yeniel Marquez, 5-Jorge Luis Clavelo, 8-Alianas Urgelles, 9-Alain Cervantes (7-Luis Villegas, 73), 10-Roberto Linares, 13-Carlos Domingo, 15-Leonel Duarte (Heviel Cordovez, 76), 16-Reysander Fernandez, 17-Pedro Faife (11-Jenzy Muñoz, 63)
Subs Not Used: 1-Danis Quintero, 4-Yosvani Caballeros, 6-Reinier Alcantara, 14-Jamie Colomé
Head Coach: Reinhold Fanz
Cautions: Alain Cervantes (CUB) 25, Carlos Castrillo (GUA) 59; Ejection: Roberto Linares (CUB) 56.