US OPEN CUP
Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba miss Inter Miami training on eve of US Open Cup final
Will the former Barcelona stars shake off their respective injuries to play against Houston Dynamo at DRV PNK Stadium?
The countdown is on until the US Open Cup final between Inter Miami and Houston Dynamo with the fitness of Lionel Messi - and indeed Jordi Alba - dominating the build-up to Wednesday’s clash at DRV PNK Stadium. Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s side are hopeful of winning a second trophy in a little over a month, while the Texans want to repeat their 2018 triumph in the same competition.
What injuries are Messi and Alba suffering from?
The Herons trained on Tuesday in preparation for the final but, as reported by AS USA Latino correspondent Fernando Petrocelli, neither Messi nor Alba took part. The former Barcelona duo were both forced off in the first half of the MLS victory at home to Toronto on 21 September and were then left out of the draw at Orlando City on Sunday.
Before the Clásico del Sol, Martino stated that scar tissue from an old injury had been “bothering” Messi, while Alba had been suffering from “muscle fatigue”. As a result, the Inter Miami coaching staff opted to give the pair a rest at the weekend in the hope that they would recover in time for Wednesday’s cup final against The Dynamo.
Neither of the two has been ruled in or out as yet, with The Herons keeping their cards close to their chest.
Inter Miami coach Martino to give pre-match press conference on Tuesday
The media was granted access to the first 15 minutes of Inter Miami’s training session on Tuesday and the absences of Messi and Alba will increase speculation that they could be forced to sit out one of the biggest games of the year. Martino will take part in a pre-match press conference later on Tuesday and will undoubtedly be asked to clarify whether the duo will ultimately be available to face Houston Dynamo.