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US to face Cuba in historic friendly match

The US national team will travel to Cuba for a friendly for the first time in 60 years.

Soccer: Gold Cup-USA at Cuba Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The United States national team play their first game since the September World Cup qualifiers on Friday. They will travel to Cuba to play their first friendly on the Caribbean island since 1947.

The two countries have been at odds with each other for decades, but tensions lessened last year when President Obama lifted the long-standing embargo. In addition, the president attended a baseball game in Cuba in March between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team.

This match will be one of two October friendlies for the US, as they will play New Zealand on the 11th at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. These friendlies will prepare the team for a set of crucial opening World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica next month.

Here is their roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

DEFENDERS (7): Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin),Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union/withdrawn with injury), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Danny Williams (Reading)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jordan Morris(Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)

Cuba have just one player on their team who plays in a different country: Maykel Reyes, who is on Cruz Azul’s roster in Liga MX. The Seattle Sounders have a Cuban on their team, starting defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, but his 2007 defection takes him out of the running for a spot on the national team squad, as is the case for many other Cuban players.

The game will take place at 4pm Eastern Time/3pm Central Time on ESPN2 and Unimas from Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana.