Lionel Messi watched from the sidelines as Inter Miami CF misplaced 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo within the U.S. Open Cup last after he was not named within the squad as a result of an damage picked up whereas on Argentina responsibility.
Supervisor Gerardo Martino mentioned Tuesday that whether or not his star participant was out there or not would come all the way down to a game-time determination. When the lineup was revealed forward of the ultimate at DRV PNK Stadium, Messi was not listed on the crew sheet.
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“It was clearly not prudent for him to play, not even for a couple of minutes,” Martino mentioned after the match. “We could not take the chance.
“However he will certainly play once more earlier than the tip of the season. His participation might be decided recreation by recreation primarily based on the medical crew’s suggestions.”
Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba additionally sat out the loss as he handled an damage of his personal, with each gamers noticed within the stands in avenue garments shortly after kickoff.
With two of their stars lacking, Miami have been overmatched and Houston took full benefit, scoring twice within the first half from Griffin Dorsey’s close-range thunderbolt and a penalty by Amine Bassi because the guests managed the sport.
Miami, who have been making a second bid for a trophy this season after profitable the inaugural Leagues Cup event between MLS and Liga MX, tried to power their manner again into the sport however lacked the crowning glory and will solely muster a late comfort purpose from Josef Martinez.
When the ultimate whistle blew, it was Houston that added a second U.S. Open Cup to their trophy case after profitable it in 2018.
“Right now, I noticed a worn-out and drained crew,” Martino mentioned. “We have been additionally restricted by the accidents, so our efficiency was affected by these circumstances.”
1000’s of followers turned up within the Fort Lauderdale space late Wednesday afternoon — a lot of them carrying Messi jerseys both within the blue and white of Argentina or the pink of Inter Miami — lengthy earlier than the gates opened for the Cup last, if for no different motive than to look at the crew buses arrive.
Nonetheless, when the buses arrived there was no Messi, a actuality which may have led to an costly disappointment for some followers. Ticket costs on secondary markets, with hyperlinks to gross sales posted on the crew’s social media channels as not too long ago as Tuesday, ranged from $145 to just about $4,000 about an hour earlier than the match.
Messi had been out and in of Miami’s lineup since getting back from worldwide responsibility for Argentina with a leg damage associated to an previous scar tissue downside. He didn’t play in a loss to Atlanta United on Sept. 16 and tried to play Sept. 20 towards Toronto FC however was withdrawn after about half-hour in a recreation Miami went on to win 4-0.
Alba was substituted with muscle fatigue within the Toronto recreation shortly earlier than Messi, and after the match Martino mentioned neither would play in Saturday’s recreation away to Orlando Metropolis. Miami managed a attract that match to maintain their MLS Cup playoff hopes alive.
Messi’s impression on Miami since arriving in July in a blockbuster deal has been exceptional. He is scored 11 targets and contributed to a complete of 16, with the crew having by no means misplaced a recreation during which he performed.
Miami are 5 factors behind New York Metropolis FC, which they face Saturday in MLS, within the standings for the ultimate playoff spot with 5 video games to play and two video games in hand.
Data from The Related Press was used on this story.
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