World

Soccer's NY Cosmos beat baseball in game of Cuban detente

  • Legendary Cosmos and Brazilian national soccer team player Pele arrives at Melia Cohiba in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, May 31, 2015. The New York Cosmos will play against the Cuban national soccer team in a friendly match on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

    Legendary Cosmos and Brazilian national soccer team player Pele arrives at Melia Cohiba in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, May 31, 2015. The New York Cosmos will play against the Cuban national soccer team in a friendly match on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cosmos player Raul Gonzalez signs the shirt of a fan after arriving at Melia Cohiba Hotel in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, May 31, 2015. The New York Cosmos will play against the Cuban national soccer team in a friendly match on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

    Cosmos player Raul Gonzalez signs the shirt of a fan after arriving at Melia Cohiba Hotel in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, May 31, 2015. The New York Cosmos will play against the Cuban national soccer team in a friendly match on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Stadium workers use an old Russian motorcycle with a sidecar, which they use to transport tools at the Pedro Marrero stadium, as New York Cosmos soccer players train for a friendly against Cuba's national team, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 1, 2015. On Tuesday, the team will become the first U.S. professional team to play in Cuba since Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama announced that they were re-establishing diplomatic relations. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    Stadium workers use an old Russian motorcycle with a sidecar, which they use to transport tools at the Pedro Marrero stadium, as New York Cosmos soccer players train for a friendly against Cuba's national team, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 1, 2015. On Tuesday, the team will become the first U.S. professional team to play in Cuba since Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama announced that they were re-establishing diplomatic relations. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

Two of the world's most baseball-obsessed nations have declared an end to a half-century of hostility, raising hopes of warmer ties between the home of the Major League and the source of some of its best talent.

But the most important act of sports diplomacy since then is taking place on a soccer field.

On Tuesday, the New York Cosmos become the first U.S. professional team to play in Cuba since Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama announced that they were re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Cuban officials say the friendly match against Cuba's national team is a sign of soccer's growing popularity on the island, and an important step in the normalization of the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.