Six-time winners Mexico started their Concacaf Gold Cup bid with a crushing 6-0 win over Cuba, who were only able to name five substitutes in Chicago.
Six members of the Cuba squad, along with coach Raul Gonzalez, were unable to obtain visas to enter the US.
Another Cuban player, named as forward Keiler Garcia, has reportedly defected.
Oribe Peralta scored a hat-trick with former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela, ex-Tottenham midfielder Giovani Dos Santos and Andrés Guardado also on target.
The result in Group C ended a seven-match winless run for Mexico, who last won the biennial competition in 2011. The Gold Cup is the regional championship for teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Peralta, who plays for Mexican side Club America, scored twice in the first half at Soldier Field and completed his hat-trick with a header in the 61st minute. Dos Santos, who now plays for Spanish side Villarreal after leaving Spurs in 2012, rounded off the scoring with 15 minutes remaining.
Cuban officials are hopeful Gonzalez and the absent six players will be able to join the team in time for Sunday's game against Trinidad & Tobago.
- 8J dos SantosSubstituted forG dos Santosat 57'minutes
- 18GuardadoSubstituted forEsquivelat 72'minutes
- 11VelaSubstituted forJM Coronaat 72'minutes
- 9JM Corona
- 10G dos Santos
- 3Márquez Molina
- 13CorralesSubstituted forPerezat 80'minutes
- 23GuerraSubstituted forHortaat 67'minutes
- 20CoroneauxSubstituted forSuarezat 55'minutes
- Walter Quesada
- Shots on Target