What’s up next for Inter Miami and Messi in 2023?
The Herons claimed their first silverware as a club ever with the Leagues Cup trophy and now have sights set on the US Open Cup.
Not even the likes of Inter Miami co-owners Jose and Jorge Mas could have dreamed that, within a month of arriving in Florida, Lionel Messi would led his new team to the first trophy in their history after Inter Miami lifted the Leagues Cup on Saturday evening after a thrilling penalty shoot out victory over Nashville SC.
Messi’s impact with Miami was immediate from the off, the Argentine came on as a second half substitute in his debut against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup group stage and in the final minute of the game delivered a trademark free kick to ensure an opening win for the Herons.
You can watch Inter Miami's next game on Fubo (free trial available.
Since that July opener, Messi has found the target ten times for Inter Miami as they advanced to Saturday’s final. Despite the game against Nashville being Miami’s most lowkey in the journey to the final with tiredness all too apparent, the Argentine stepped up to the mark once again firing the Florida side ahead in the first half. The side from Tennessee were agruably the better team over the 90 minutes but lady luck smiled on the men in pink as they lifted the trophy after a dramatic penalty shootout.
Open Cup tilt at more glory
The next possible silverware for Tata Martino’s men centres on the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, the annual knockout competition which is governed by US Soccer. For the first time in their brief history (Inter Miami have only been playing in MLS since 2020), the Herons have reached the semifinal of the competition where they face FC Cincinnati next Wednesday. The winners of that clash will face Real Salt Lake or Houston Dynamo in the 27 September final.
Before Messi’s arrival, Inter Miami were on an eleven game winless run and languish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with just 15 points from the 2023 MLS Season.
Inter Miami have 12 games left in the regular season as they travel to New York next weekend and need to string together a series of wins to keep any faint hope of a post season playoff place alive.
Will we see the same Inter Miami who have thrilled so many in the Leagues Cup? Will Messi have the same drive knowing that the damage has been done in the regular season at this late stage of the campaign? Whatever happens, the Messi show is always worth tuning in for !
Inter Miami final MLS games
27 Aug Away to NY Red Bulls
31 Aug Home to Nashville
4 Sept Away to LAFC
10 Sept Home to Sporting KC
16 Sept Away to Atlanta
21 Sept Home to Toronto
25 Sept Away to Orlando
1 Oct Home to NYCFC
5 Oct Away to Chicago
8 Oct Home to Cincinnati
22 Oct Away to Charlotte