Cuba argues with the referee in the 2013 Gold Cup
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Gold Cup: Player defects from Cuban team; six others, head coach won't arrive for Group C match vs. Mexico

As if they weren’t already total underdogs in their Gold Cup opener against Mexico on Thursday night, Cuba suffered another big blow this morning, when it was reported that their head coach and six players won’t arrive in Chicago in time for the match.

Head coach Raul Gonzalez Triana and six Cuban players were scheduled to arrive in Chicago today ahead of their 9:30 pm ET kickoff against Mexico (Fox Sports 1, UniMas), but reports said that due to "logistical problems," they got stuck in Antigua after the Caribbean Olympic qualifiers.

They won’t be the only members of the Cuban delegation missing from Soldier Field. The federation confirmed on Wednesday night that striker Keiler Garcia has defected, his absence noticed after he failed to show up for breakfast on Wednesday morning.

Barring any other absences, Cuba will have 16 players available for Thursday’s match against Mexico. They will continue Group C play on Sunday against Trinidad & Tobago and next Wednesday against Guatemala.

Five Finals. Five Stories.

Two CONCACAF teams dominate the Gold Cup: the United States and Mexico. Read our interactive presentation about five matches that helped shaped soccer in the region.