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Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami: score, goals and highlights | Leagues Cup 2023

Update:
Philadelphia get one back against Miami

Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami: As it happened

Inter Miami made it through to their first ever major cup final thanks to a clinical first half showing against Philadelphia Union. 

It took Miami just three minutes to take the lead, Josef Martinez running onto a long ball and firing past Andre Blake. The second came on the 18th minute as Lionel Messi thumped the ball home from 30 yards to claim his tenth goal in six Leagues Cup games. 

Miami had one foot in the final on the stroke of half time after Jordi Alba slotted home from a narrow angle. 

Union boss Jim Curtis changed the hosts' shape at the break and was rewarded with a much-improved, but slightly profligate, second half performance. Veteran midfielder Alejandro Bedoya made it 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining but they were unable to make the most of their late momentum. 

Miami youngster David Ruiz finished off a neat counter attack in the final minutes to give the Tata Martino's team a 4-1 victory and secure their place in Sunday's Leagues Cup final. 

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Miami celebrates semi-final triumph

It was an assured performance from Inter Miami as they eased past Philadelphia Union, one of the best teams in MLS. Last year's MLS Cup finalists switched to a single striker formation in the first half and were well outplayed by the visitors. 

Miami were able to exploit the Union's more cautious approach and scored four times for the fifth times in their last six. 

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Quickfire start wins it for Miami

A brilliant first half performance from Inter Miami was enough to secure passage to the final of the Leagues Cup. Goals from Josef Martinez, Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba gave them a three-goal lead at the break and, despite a second half push from Philadelphia, they remained fairly comfortable throughout. 

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90+4

Inter Miami progress to the Leagues Cup final!

And there we have it, Inter Miami celebrate after a famous win that sees them through to their first-ever major final. 

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90+3

There are still members of the security team on the field here, forcing Messi to wait a little longer here. 

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90+2

Philadelphia tempers bubbling over now after a coming together between Jose Martinez and Lionel Messi. 

That's followed by a pitch invader who is swiftly dealt with. Messi stands over a free kick on the right flank. 

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90

As we approach the end of this thrilling Leagues Cup semi-final, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the incredible turnaround that we have seen in this Inter Miami team. 

Winless in 11 before the arrival of Lionel Messi, they are close to a sixth consecutive win and have scored 21 times in those game. Messi, of course, has ten of those goals. 

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90

Three minutes to go

There will be a minimum of three minutes' added time. 

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89

Both teams look tired now as we approach the 90.

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88

Philadelphia continue pushing to get back in the game. Martinez curls in a cross towards the head of Gazdag but it just evades the forward.

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85

That fourth Miami goal has taken the wind out of the Subaru Park crowd with just five minutes of regulation time still to play.

Union failed to make the most of their chances in the second half and they have been punished by the hosts. 

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David Ruiz goal restores Miami's three-goal lead

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83

GOOOOAAAAL! Inter Miami

And just like that, Inter Miami have one foot in the final!

A brilliant run from Yedlin is found by Messi and he slips the ball through to David Ruiz. The youngster is in on goal and slots the ball coolly past Blake to make it 4-1. 

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82

Can Inter Miami hold on for the final minutes? The Union's play has got a little sloppy as they begin to tire but they pose a real threat in the box. 

Inter Miami are looking to slow the game down to preserve their lead. 

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81

A strong run from David Ruiz wins a free kick on the right flank for Miami. The youngster has added some much-needed energy to the Miami midfield since his introduction. 

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80

We're into the final ten minutes of normal time now.

It looks like Inter Miami are about to switch to a back three to deal with Philadelphia's two-man strike force. 

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78

As we approach the final ten minutes Martinez is back on the field for the Union and looks like he'll be able to continue.

Miami are taking their time with every set piece now. 

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Close! Philadelphia Union

Another great chance for Union as a deflection from Gazdag just bounces wide of the Miami goal. The assistant puts his flag up for an offside, but that was very close. 

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75

Jose Martinez

The Philadelphia momentum is halted for a moment as Jose Martinez goes down in the middle of the pitch. 

There was no contact, it looks like a muscular injury. Let's see if he can continue here. 

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Philadelphia are really pushing now, spurred on by the rejuvenated home crowd. They have been by far the better side since the break and they has the goal that they craved. 

Their more aggressive, front-foot style this half is really causing problems. 

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Philadelphia back in the game

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72

GOOOOAAAAL!

The hosts are back in it! Finally a good delivery from a corner ball and it falls to Bedoya who pokes the ball home. 

3-1, twenty minutes still to play. Game on!

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70

After a breathless few minutes, we're into the final twenty minutes now. If the Union can get on the scoresheet soon, they are very much in this tie. 

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Chance! Inter Miami

Sensational action as both teams go close to scoring within 20 seconds. Union have another effort blocked by sprawling Miami bodies and the visitors are quickly back on the attack. 

Campana's effort is parried but Messi runs onto the ball and seems to have an open goal for a second. Just as the 36-year-old looks to fire the ball home Blake gets back in time to push the ball wide. 

What a game!

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Chance! Philadelphia Union

The Union come forward again as Glesnes surges out of defence, finding Wagner out on the right wing. 

The Union defender continues his run and nearly converts a dangerous cross at the back post, firing just over the crossbar from close range. It's another good opening for Union; they need to make one of these count soon. 

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64

Gomez (Inter Miami)

He's only been on for a few minutes but Diego Gomez is down clutching his face. The Miami players are suggesting that Jesus Bueno used his elbow to lever Gomez off the ball; referee thinks otherwise. 

Jesus Bueno has already been booked but will escape further punishment here. 

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It looks like Leonardo Campana will lead the line for Inter Miami now, providing a more physical target than Martinez. Messi is dropping deeper into the midfield to help Miami retain possession. 

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Two subs for Inter Miami as they look to restore some control in the game here. 

Taylor and Martinez are withdrawn. Gomez and Campana come on in their place. 

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59

Close! Philadelphia Union

So close for Union as Donovan flicks a towering header towards the bottom corner. Inter Miami keeper Callender gets down sharply to make a brilliant low cave and the follow-up is thrashed over the bar. 

Still 3-0 Miami. 

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57

It looked like it might fall to Harriel in the box but the ball bounced up and struck an arm. Inter Miami win the free kick and a chance to slow the pace of the game. 

Two substitutions being prepared by Tata Martino. 

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56

Union are really on top now as Gazdag wins a corner kick after a dogged run near the touchline. Chance to deliver now...

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54

Chance! Philadelphia Union

That should have been it! a long ball undoes the Miami defence and Chris Donovan runs onto it, taking the ball around the onrushing Callender. 

Donovan takes a moment to steady himself but he fires high over the open goal from a tight angle. A golden chance to get one back. 

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53

A sharp run from Messi gets Miami on the front foot but his slipped pass just evade Martinez on the edge of the Philly box. 

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First bit of controlled possession for Miami since the break. Taylor turns neatly down the left wing but Union win it back and are on the attack once again. 

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51

What a change since the break! The opening six minutes of the second half have been played almost exclusively in the Inter Miami half. 

The home crowd are vocal once again, can Philadelphia make it count?

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49

Brilliant work from Uhre near the corner flag wins the ball in a dangerous position for the hosts. The ball is fired across the six-yard box but no one's there to meet it. 

Promising from the hosts. 

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48

Close! Philadelphia Union

A speculative strike from Martinez has Callender worried for a moment but it flies over. There has been a real change in intent among the Union players since the break. 

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47

A better start for the hosts as they look to get the ball into the Miami box early, using that extra body in the frontline to cause problems. Jack McGlynn looks lively in the opening moments since coming on. 

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45

Two substitutions for the Philadelphia Union as Uhre and McGlynn come on for the hosts, boosting their attacking options. 

It looks like they are reverting to their more usual 4-4-2 diamond formation. Uhre joins Donovan up front. 

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45

And we're off

Philadelphia Union get us underway for the second half of this Leagues Cup semi-final clash

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WATCH: Messi goal gives Inter Miami a comfortable lead

The Argentine scored his ninth goal for Inter Miami with a sweetly-struck effort midway through the first half. The visitors looked in complete control in the first 45, but can they see out the game in front of a fervent Philadelphia crowd? We're nearly underway for the second half. 

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Where is the 2023 Leagues Cup final being played?

Inter Miami fans will be feeling pretty confident right now, and may already be looking ahead to the Leagues Cup final. If they make it, they will face either Nashville or Monterrey in the Leagues Cup final. 

Here's everything you need to know...

Read more

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In a brief pitch side interview at the break, Union head coach Jim Curtin confirms that he is looking to make changes at half time. It looks like the hosts will be switching to two forwards to prevent Miami playing out from the back so easily. 

The question now, however, is whether this will come too late. 

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Martinez, Messi and Alba give Miami comfortable lead

What a first half for Inter Miami! That could not have gone much better for Tata Martino's side as they cruise to a three-goal lead at the break. It took just three minutes for the visitors to take the lead and they didn't look back. 

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And that's the half

Boos ring out around Subaru Park as the Union go into the halftime break three goals behind. Can they turn it around?

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Jordi Alba gives Inter Miami a comfortable lead

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GOOOAAAAAL! Jordi Alba

And that's three!

Brilliant defensive work from Robert Taylor wins the ball back and sets Jordi Alba through on goal and the Spanish full back make no mistake. A lovely goal from Miami to take a three-goal lead. 

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45+1

Lionel Messi has moved much more central in the last five minutes, playing as a more conventional attacking midfielder. Gazdag is continuing to follow Busquets all around the pitch but it's coming at the cost of his own offensive ambitions. 

The Union might look to change their shape at the break. 

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45

Four minutes of added time

The fourth officials confirms that we'll have four more minutes before the break. 

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44

A spell of solid Miami possession is broken by the Union, who are quickly on the offensive. Gazdag makes a clever run in behind the defence but can't quite connect with the through ball. 

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42

Groans all around Subaru Park as the Union lose the ball cheaply on the halfway line. Their out-of-possession play has improved since the Messi goal, but they are really struggling to do anything with the ball when they do have it. 

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A strong run from Robert Taylor is eventually ended by a foul on the halfway line A chance from Miami to regroup and get back on the ball. 

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38

Another corner for the Union, who have improved as the first half has gone on. 

However the ball once again fails to beat the first man and is easily cleared. Set pieces have been really poor for Philadelphia tonight. 

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Sergei Kryvtsov

The Inter Miami defender is down after a late challenge on the halfway line. It doesn't look like it's anything too serious but he is receiving treatment. 

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A first spell of sustained pressure for Philadelphia Union gets the hosts back on the front foot, but those crosses came to nothing of any real note. It has managed to get the crowd back on side and they are once again roaring the team forward. 

If Philadelphia are going to force their way back into this game, it's going to have to be a battle. 

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32

The first ball is cleared but Union get it back and force a corner. The noise ramps up in Subaru Park but the ball is poor once again. 

Miami get the ball away. 

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Finally, Philadelphia win a foul. 

Arroyo is late to the ball on the right flank and fouls Glesnes. A chance to deliver now for the Union...

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Close! Philadelphia Union

A first bit of real ambition from Gazdag, who surges through the midfield and lets fly from 25 yards. He draws a good save from Callender but it never looked like seriously troubling the Miami goalkeeper. 

It's got the home crowd going, at least. 

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Philadelphia look to play a bit more aggressively now and are flying into tackles. It may not be pretty but it's probably what's needed against a Miami team who have looked superior so far. 

Gazdag is trying to do a man-marking job on Busquets but he is struggling to get to grips with the ex-Barca midfielder. 

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A moment of magic doubles Miami's lead

The crowd in Subaru Park is on edge and appear frustrated as Inter Miami cruise into a two-goal lead. The MLS Cup finalists have been stunned here in the opening stages and Miami are deserving of their early lead. 

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What now for Philadelphia Union? They have tried to stand off and frustrate the visitors but that plan has been entirely undone by two moment of quality from the Miami forwards. 

Inter Miami have a deserved two-goal lead midway through the first half. 

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Josef Martinez

Amid the celebrations for that Messi goal, Josef Martinez lay crumpled on the ground after being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle from Lowe. 

Martinez was fouled midway through the Union half but, as the ball fell to Messi, the referee allowed play to continue and the Argentine duly scored. 

In the aftermath Martinez received medical attention but will be fine to continue. 

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Lionel Messi goal gives Miami a two-goal cushion

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GOOOOAAAAL! Lionel Messi

Of course, who else?

Lionel Messi doubles Miami's lead with a brilliant strike from 30 yards, firing low into the bottom corner. That's what happens when you give him space in the middle of the pitch. 

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A neat disguised pass from Glesnes finds Donovan on the edge of the box. The Union forward fails to control it but it lands at the feet of Gazdag, who fires just wide. 

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A cynical foul from Lowe halts Messi in his tracks as he looks to skip through the midfield. 

It's an obvious foul but that's something that Union need to do a bit more, upsetting the Argentine's rhythm and preventing him from drifting inside and controlling the game. 

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A long ball forward from Miami finds Martinez running through on goal. He takes the ball a touch wide and opts instead to hold the ball up. 

Possession back with Miami now after a brief spell for the hosts. 

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Neat play from Union as the ball is worked from side to side, getting both wingbacks involved in the play. This is not their normal style of play but they need to get a grip of the game here. 

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13

Miami come forward again with Arroyo but the Miami midfielder misplaces a pass out wide to Jordi Alba. The Union have not found their feet yet tonight, you sense that they need to do so soon or they will find themselves further behind. 

A key phase of the game coming up over the next five minutes. 

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Miami look to be playing a little more directly than normal, searching for the runs of Josef Martinez and Benjamin Cremaschi in behind the Philadelphia backline. 

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Interesting tactical development from Inter Miami, who look to be playing with two central strikers tonight. Messi and Martinez are finding space between the three central defenders of Philadelphia and causing real problems for the hosts. 

Can Jim Curtin adapt and prevent the Miami duo from creating more chances?

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Chance! Philadelphia

Out of nothing, so nearly an equaliser there!

A brilliant first-time ball from Wagner finds Gazdag running through on goal. The MLS MVP pokes his shot goalwards but Callender is equal to the effort. 

What a start!

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Inter Miami look well on top in the opening stages, Philadelphia's attempts to strangle the service to Busquets and Messi has left them dangerously short elsewhere. 

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Martinez fires Miami ahead

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3

GOOOOOAAAAL! Josef Martinez

What a start for Inter Miami!

Josef Martinez runs onto a through ball and fires a right-footed drive past three-time Golden Glove winner Andre Blake. Miami take the lead. 

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2

A comfortable start for Inter Miami as they play the ball around the back, Philadelphia willing to give them time in the Miami half. 

This could be the pattern for much of the game; Miami looking to control and the Union staying resolute. 

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Peep peeep peeeeep

And we're off, Inter Miami get us started in Philadelphia. 

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We're nearly ready to go in Philadelphia, the players are readied and the fans are loud. Here we go...

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How many finals has Inter Miami star Lionel Messi played in? How many has he won?

Inter Miami stand just one game away from the final of the 2023 Leagues Cup, the first major final in the team's short history. But in captain Lionel Messi they have a player who is very accustomed to the biggest stage. 

Can Messi and co. deliver Miami to the final? We're about to find out.

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The players are out on the pitch and we're just minutes away from kick off at Subaru Park now. There is a place in the final of the Leagues Cup up for grabs, as well as guaranteed qualification for the Concacaf Champions League. 

The atmosphere is heating up in Philly...

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Argentinian link up in Philadelphia

Lionel Messi is not the only Argentine in attendance tonight. Philadelphia Union's Julian Carranza and Joaquin Torres shared some words with the World Cup winner ahead of kick off. 

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Inter Miami line up in their familiar 4-3-3 formation

Since the Barcelonification of Inter Miami, they have exclusively played with a 4-3-3 formation and it seems to be getting the best out of their star players. Lionel Messi will start out on the right but is granted the freedom to drift inside and influence the game. Banjamin Cremaschi will have a freedom to get forward and combine with Jordi Alba on the left flank. 

There's little more than 10 minutes to go until kick off now...

 

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Julián Carranza faces his former team

There is no shortage of intrigue in tonight's clash, but one mane with a particular reason to impress is Philadelphia Union striker Julián Carranza. The Argentine forward previously played for Inter Miami but endured an unsuccessful two-year spell with the team. 

He is on the bench for the Union tonight, but Jim Curtin could call on him late on if they need a goal. 

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Inter Miami fans pick David Beckham over Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is used to being the centre of attention, but will have to take second place to David Beckham with some Inter Miami fans. As this video clip shows, the Miami owner is still number one for some fans. 

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Benjamin Cremaschi interview: ‘Messi, Jordi Alba and Busquets are here to win’

Benjamin Cremaschi starts in midfield for Inter Miami tonight and he will provide a vital foil for Sergio Busquets in the middle of the pitch. The 18 year old has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the last year and now finds himself playing alongside his idol, Lionel Messi

We spoke to Cremaschi about life in Miami, his relationship with Messi and the team's Leagues Cup ambitions...

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And here's the Inter Miami line up

No major surprises for Inter Miami tonight. Lionel Messi is fit to play and will captain the team in this Leagues Cup semi-final. 

Inter Miami starting XI: Callender - Alba, Miller, Kryvtsov, Yedlin - Cremaschi, Busquets, Arroyo - Taylor, Martinez, Messi

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Philadelphia Union starting XI

Here's how the home side line up for tonight's game. 

It's a bit more defensive than normal with four changes made to the team that beat Queretaro in the last round. Carranza and Uhre drop out, leaving Donovan to lead the frontline on his own. 

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We'll have team news from Subaru Park very shortly, it looks like Philadelphia will make some changes to counter the attacking threat that Miami pose...

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Martinez speaks to reporters ahead of the game

"We know the strength that Philadelphia Union have... We have to concentrate 100 per cent for 90 minutes because we know their strength at home and we have to not make mistakes."

"We just have to play our style."

Josef Martinez, Inter Miami

Lionel Messi and co. arrive in Philly

Inter Miami in the house! Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets have landed in Miami ahead of tonight's Leagues Cup game against Philadelphia Union, with a place in the final up for grabs. 

Miami have looked irresistible since the former-Barcelona trio arrived at the club and have won all five of their games since Messi's debut. 

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How much does a ticket for Philadelphia vs Miami cost?

With less than an hour to go until kick off, those fortunate enough to get a ticket will be approaching the Subaru Park for tonight's action. And they really will be lucky, the average price of tickets for the Leagues Cup semi-final in Philadelphia is a staggering $556. 

Not only that, but research from TickPick found that the average price for tonight's game exceeds any Philadelphia Eagles game this season. It really is the hottest ticket in town. 

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All-Star family man

Kai Wagner was one of three Philadelphia Union players named to the 2023 All-Star Team roster, but that accolade doesn't appear to have gone to his head. Ahead of the crucial Leagues Cup semi-final tie with Inter Miami Wagner had time to take pictures of his son riding a police motor bike, smiling and joking with passers-by.

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Is Messi playing tonight? Lionel Messi suffers foot injury scare in training

One of the big questions ahead of tonight's crucial Leagues Cup clash relates to the fitness of the Inter Miami captain. Lionel Messi has been in transformative form since his arrival in Miami but the 36-year-old old appeared to tweak his ankle during team training on Monday. 

Miami head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino spoke to reporters to clarify the situation...

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Preparations are underway in Philadelphia

In just 90 minutes the first semi-final of the 2023 Leagues Cup will kick off, with Philadelphia Union facing Inter Miami for a place in the final. 

Inter Miami have looked more impressive in the tournament so far but the Union can call upon a fervent home support in one of the most intimidating stadiums in MLS. Subaru Park will be fill to the brim tonight to see if the Union can make it to the final of the inaugural edition of this expanded tournament. 

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'Tomorrow we continue'

There's always been a distinctly Hispanic flavour in Miami and that has only intensified with the arrival of Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets this summer. Will the decorated trio be able to fire their team into the final of the Leagues Cup?

We will find out later tonight...

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Who are the top scorers in the Leagues Cup 2023?

As I'm sure you can imagine, much of the talk in the build-up to this game has focused on Lionel Messi and the influence that the World Cup winner can have on tonight's outcome. He has starred in the tournament so far, but is the top scorer in the 2023 Leagues Cup?

We take a look...

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Hello and welcome to AS USA, where we'll be bringing you live text coverage of Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami in the semi-final of the Leagues Cup. 

Lionel Messi has been the star of the tournament so far but rumours of a training ground injury will have caused a scare in Miami.

Philadelphia have been by far the superior team in MLS this season, but can they show it at Subaru Park tonight?

William Gittins