Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Detroit — Without much fanfare, Cuba's men's volleyball national team made the trek to the United States for the NORCECA Men's Champions Cup this week at Joe Louis Arena.

After January's historic announcement that the U.S. and Cuba are looking to restore diplomatic relations and this week's discussions about re-establishing embassies in both countries, the political climate seems to be improving.

Following Cuba's straight-games loss to Canada in the opening match on Thursday evening, Cuba head coach Rodolfo Luis Sanchez declined comment about political matters.

For the Cuban team, ranked No. 11 in the world, the task is more difficult, as only 10 players dressed, because of injuries.

With the focus on the matches, Cuba, along with the U.S., Canada and Mexico, all are trying to qualify for the World Cup by finishing in the top two in NORCECA group.

The group includes North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

The top two finishers in the World Cup qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.