The U.S. Galaxy soccer team suspended its pre-season activities in Costa Rica to return to the United States and support the family of Doug Hamilton, the team’s president, who died of a heart attack the night of March 9 during a flight from San José to Los Angeles, California.
“For the respect of our president and his family we’re going to return today and try to bring back the body of our president as soon as possible,” Galaxy coach Steve Sampson told Channel 7 March 10.
Hamilton’s heart attack was reported by the staff of the TACA flight on which he traveled to Los Angeles. The team president began to experience problems 45 minutes into the flight, so the pilot decided to return to JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport, northwest of San José. He was dead upon arrival, and his body transported to the morgue.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman said the embassy is in contact with Hamilton’s family, but did not offer more details for reasons of confidentiality.
Galaxy was in Costa Rica last week playing a game against Saprissa as part of the finals of the Champion’s Cup of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Soccer Associations (CONCACAF).
The team later traveled to Playa Tamarindo, on the northwestern Pacific coast, to finish its pre-season games.
Galaxy players and their coach told the Costa Rican press Hamilton was a “great man” who always worried about the well-being of his team.