US OPEN CUP
When is Lionel Messi’s next game for Inter Miami?
Fresh from their Leagues Cup triumph over Nashville SC, Miami are back in action on Wednesday for the Open Cup semi-final at TQL Stadium.
Lionel Messi scored Miami’s only goal of the game and converted his spot kick on the way to a famous win. But now that the pan-continental tournament has been concluded Miami must refocus their sights on domestic competition.
Despite their poor form in MLS, the Herons have made it through to the semi-finals of the Open Cup.
Inter Miami vs FC Cincinnati for a place in the final
On paper, Miami’s next game is the most one-sided fixture in the top tier of American soccer. Miami, who have the fewest points in MLS, travel to Supporters Shield leaders FC Cincinnati in the semi-final of the Open Cup on Wednesday evening.
Miami have picked up just 18 points so far in 2023, while Cincinnati are leading the way at the top of the Eastern Conference on 51 points. The game will be played at Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium, a soccer-specific venue that will be packed with 26,000 expectant supporters.
FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami is available to view on the streaming platform FuboTV (free trial available).
Miami and Messi will hope to spring a surprise on Cincinnati
Cincinnati have looked the better team across 2023, but there is reason to believe that Miami can secure their second cup final spot in little over a week. Miami have looked reborn since the arrival of Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, and are yet to lose a game since the ex-Barcelona trio arrived.
In the Leagues Cup they were victorious in all seven fixtures, albeit some via a penalty shoot out, and impressed against high-flying Philadelphia Union in the semi-final.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, have underperformed this month. One of the Leagues Cup pre-tournament favourites, they were eliminated in the Round of 32 after a penalty shoot out loss to Nashville. They returned to MLS action on Sunday evening and were beaten 3-0 by Columbus Crew.
Inter Miami will be full of confidence on Wednesday and head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino claimed that the Leagues Cup triumph would help the team going forward.
“Today we became champions and the truth is it feels really good,” Martino said. “It also helps us continue to grow, to continue maintaining our ambition.”
“I think we have more clarity on what can happen in the future after winning this title just 30-35 days after starting with the club.”