The Leagues Cup is off to an interesting start, and while one side of the binational tournament has seen things like Messi scoring an incredible last-minute free kick winner in one of the most watched games of the year, the other side has the Concacaf Champions League champions stuck sleeping in a Canadian airport for a game in the United States to be played the night after.
León players stuck sleeping in Vancouver airport, club blames Leagues Cup organizers
León players and staff went through a series of the classic detrimental airport flight delays and according to the club, it’s all at the fault of Leagues Cup organizers' logistic disaster class.
After defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada in the first match day of the Leagues Cup last Friday, La Fiera was set to fly from the Rain City all the way into the state of California to prepare for their Tuesday match against LA Galaxy.
Y después de muuuuuuuuchas emociones...¡Ganó el punto extra #LaFiera!
— Club León (@clubleonfc) July 22, 2023
After a 38-kick penalty shoot-out victory, the players were ready for the three hour flight back south.
However, after a messy flight delay and slow solution plan from tournament organizers to get the Esmeraldas to Los Angeles, the club was stuck in the airport for over 24 hours and left with no other option but to stay and sleep overnight.
Videos shared on social media showed players and staff sleeping on chairs and on the floor, causing a great uproar amongst León and Liga MX fans over the treatment some of the Mexican teams have received over the last few days since the start of the tournament last weekend.
El @clubleonfc de @NLarcamon , está varado en Vancouver, con el desgaste de la espera, sin poder alistar el duelo ante @LAGalaxy_Es , contando que no les reprogramen vuelo, tendrá viaje de 3h, llegará a estirar y a jugar mañana ¡Gracias a logística de @LeaguesCup ! @FOXSportsMX pic.twitter.com/Q3mtopwiCj— Paco Montes (@PacoMontesLA) July 24, 2023
— Paco Montes (@PacoMontesLA) July 24, 2023
The delay was due to the fact that the plane in which the tournament booked for the Mexican team to travel to California in presented a mechanical failure on Sunday, the day they were originally set to leave. Leagues Cup organizers told them that a new aircraft would be available to board first thing Monday morning. However, said plane was not at their disposal until about 8:30 p.m. that night.
En estos momentos Club León se encuentra viajando con destino a Los Ángeles.-Llegada, 1:00am
-Concentración en hotel, 2:00am.
Tendrán la oportunidad de 1 reconocimiento de cancha y 1 entrenamiento, sujeto a horarios del estadio y del itinerario de LA Galaxy.
— Fernando Esquivel (@fer_esquivel22) July 25, 2023
This meant that the Liga MX club would have less than a day to prepare for their Tuesday match against the Galaxy, all without having the opportunity to train or touch the field prior to game. Chaos.
Rodolfo Cota, Club León goalkeeper and captain, in a state of frustration, had some words on social media for whoever was responsible for leaving the international champions stranded.
“A little more seriousness in travel logistics, [Leagues Cup]. Yesterday our flight was canceled and today they have us without answers here at the airport, but hey, the show must go on, right?” said the 36-year-old.
Un poco más de seriedad en la logística de los viajes @LeaguesCup ayer nos cancelan el vuelo y hoy nos tienen sin respuestas acá en el aeropuerto, eso si mañana el show debe continuar no?— Rodolfo Cota (@RodolfoCota_) July 24, 2023
After much discontent from León directives, players and upper management over the poor problem-solving from organizers, Leagues Cup announced that the game was officially postponed.
The match that was originally scheduled to be played at 7:30 pm in the Dignity Health Sports Park on Tuesday, will now be played on Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
The Leagues Cup 2023 match between LA Galaxy and Club León has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 26. pic.twitter.com/7oRUwTmLgC— Leagues Cup (@LeaguesCup) July 25, 2023