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US, Cuba Meet in Gold Cup Soccer - 2002-01-21

The U.S. men's national soccer team is preparing to meet Cuba in the Gold Cup regional tournament at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The U.S. team is heading into the game Monday night fresh from a 2-1 win over South Korea Saturday.

The U.S. and Cuban national teams have played only once since 1948, in a 1998 first-round Gold Cup match in Oakland, California. The U.S. team won that game 3-0. In a total of four matches against Cuba, the United States has had two wins, one loss and one tie. Saturday, the U.S. team squeaked out a victory over South Korea as 19-year-old DaMarcus Beasley scored in the final seconds of the game to break a 1-1 tie.

The U.S.-Cuba match should be a major draw in the Los Angeles region, where nearly half the population - and most soccer fans - are Hispanic. Forty-two thousand people attended Saturday's game at the Rose Bowl.

Wednesday evening, South Korea - co-host of this year's World Cup - will face Cuba. The 12-team Gold Cup tournament continues through February 2 in California and Florida.