After a Player Defects, Cuba’s Coach and 6 Players Won’t Make it to Gold Cup C Match Against Mexico

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Cuban striker Keiler Garcia didn’t show up for his team’s breakfast yesterday morning, and today it has been officially confirmed that the soccer player has abandoned the team before debuts in the Gold Cup.

Adding salt to the wound, Cuba will now have to play Mexico with only 16 players, as six other players and the head coach are stuck on the island due to troubles with their visas.

Keiler Garcia, like a few of the players who are still in Cuba, was programmed to start in the game against el Tri. Cuba’s assistant coach has stated his disappointment in a press conference, but also that the team’s spirits haven fallen before their 1st game.

The 25 year-old player joins a list of Cubans who have defected during the Gold Cup, including two players in 2002, one in 2005, two in 2007, and another one in 2011, the most notorious of these players being Osvaldo Alonso, who currently plays with Seattle Sounders.