For decades, Cuban baseball players got all the attention for defecting, but they weren't the only athletes to make this daring decision.
MLS star Osvaldo Alonso was 21 when he defected to the United States, wandering away from the Cuban national team during the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup in a Houston. He had $700 in his pocket when he made his move outside a Walmart. For security reasons, he did not inform his family of the decision.
Alonso was reunited with his dad for the first time in eight years:
Alonso, a midfielder, has been with the Sounders since 2009 after a 2008 stint with the Charleston Battery of the USL First Division. He is a three-time MLS All-Star.
In the Sounders' video, Alonso and his father, Osvaldo Alonso Sr., document their reunion Sept. 29 thanks to a loosening of travel restrictions between Cuba and the U.S. earlier this year. Alonso is now 29 with a wife and children.
On Oct. 4, Alonso Sr. was in attendance at CenturyLink Field to again see his son play, and they also saw a Mariners game that week.
It's the perfect night for a baseball game, especially when you have your family by your side. pic.twitter.com/ASOUSozvGu
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) October 1, 2015
Alonso became a U.S. citizen in 2012.