Rapids Acquire First Cuban Player in MLS History Rey Ángel Martinez

DENVER CO (06-11-04)- The Colorado Rapids announced today the acquisition of Cuban forward Rey Ángel Martinez from the Chicago Fire. Martinez who was discovered by the Fire signed a multiyear contract with Major League Soccer before being traded to Colorado in exchange for a 2005 Conditional draft pick.

Martinez who is categorized as a Transitional International and will not count toward the team’s three senior international roster spots becomes the first Cuban player to sign with an MLS club.

Martinez 24 made headlines back in February 2002 when he and teammate Alberto Delgado defected from the Cuban National Team during the team’s stay in Los Angeles for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The skillful forward won one Cuban National championship with club Ciudad de la Habana in 1998 netting seven goals for the amateur side. He also led his team to two championship games (1999-2000 2001-2002) playing a major role in the forward line.

Martinez also has vast experience on the international level having defended the Cuban colors for both the full National Team and the Under-23 National side in tournaments such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup Copa Caribe and Pan American Games.

Martinez who has been practicing with the Rapids since April 8th is expected to make his MLS debut this Saturday when the Rapids visit D.C. United at RFK Stadium in a match that will be televised nationwide on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World en Español at 5:30 p.m. (MT).

In other roster moves the Rapids also announced the waiving of forward David Castellanos. Castellanos played a total of three games with the Black and Blue since signing with the club on March 30th.

#14 Rey Ángel Martinez

Position: Forward
Height: 6-1
Weight: 160
D.O.B.: 05-13-80 in La Habana Cuba
Hometown: Miami FL
Last Club: Ciudad de la Habana Cuba
National Team Experience: Has played with the full Cuban national team as well as the Under-23 national side.

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