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.
#Cuba coach and six players will not arrive in time for Mexico match today.— Juan Arango (@JuanG_Arango) July 9, 2015
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.
Cuba assistant also confirmed that Keilen Garcia has defected— Seth Vertelney (@svertelney) July 9, 2015
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.