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Amateur club Fortuna SC gives exiled Cuban players a shot at glory, sense of community

Mario Lara founded Fortuna SC as a way to give Cuban soccer players in Miami an opportunity to play.
Mario Lara, left, founded Fortuna SC as a way to give Cuban soccer players in Miami an opportunity to play.

MIAMI -- It's a balmy Thursday night in October at Kendall Soccer Park in the southwest corner of Miami. Spanish is the majority language, as you'd expect in South Florida's soccer community, but nothing else particularly sticks out. It's a regular evening of amateur soccer at a suburban park. Over on a field towards the edge of the complex, former Cuban national team player and coach, Miguel Tito, is addressing a group of players in a deep, baritone voice with an unmistakably Cuban accent.

Meet...