Six Cuba players and manager Raul Gonzalez Triana will not arrive in Chicago in time for Thursday's Gold Cup match against Mexico.
"Logistical problems" reportedly prevented the team members from leaving Antigua after an Olympic qualifier.
The delay was reported hours after striker Keiler Garcia left the team to defect on Wednesday morning.
Cuba will have 16 players available for the Group C opener against Mexico, and assistant coach Walter Benitez will take control of the squad.
Team officials said they expected the players and Triana back in time to face Trinidad and Tobago in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday.