Lionel Messi watched from the sidelines as Inter Miami CF misplaced 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup ultimate after he was not named in the squad because of an damage picked up whereas on Argentina responsibility.
Manager Gerardo Martino stated Tuesday that whether or not his star participant was obtainable or not would come right down to a game-time resolution. When the lineup was revealed forward of the ultimate at DRV PNK Stadium, Messi was not listed on the staff sheet.
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“It was clearly not prudent for him to play, not even for a few minutes,” Martino stated after the match. “We couldn’t take the risk.
“But he will certainly play once more earlier than the tip of the season. His participation will likely be decided recreation by recreation primarily based on the medical staff’s suggestions.”
Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba also sat out the loss as he dealt with an injury of his own, with both players spotted in the stands in street clothes shortly after kickoff.
With two of their stars missing, Miami were overmatched and Houston took full advantage, scoring twice in the first half from Griffin Dorsey’s close-range thunderbolt and a penalty by Amine Bassi as the visitors controlled the game.
Miami, who were making a second bid for a trophy this season after winning the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament between MLS and Liga MX, tried to force their way back into the game but lacked the finishing touch and could only muster a late consolation goal from Josef Martinez.
When the final whistle blew, it was Houston that added a second U.S. Open Cup to their trophy case after winning it in 2018.
“Today, I noticed a worn-out and drained staff,” Martino said. “We had been additionally restricted by the accidents, so our efficiency was affected by these circumstances.”
Thousands of followers turned up in the Fort Lauderdale space late Wednesday afternoon — lots of them sporting Messi jerseys both in the blue and white of Argentina or the pink of Inter Miami — lengthy earlier than the gates opened for the Cup ultimate, if for no different purpose than to observe the staff buses arrive.
However, 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 staff’s social media channels as just lately as Tuesday, ranged from $145 to just about $4,000 about an hour earlier than the match.
Messi had been in and out of Miami’s lineup since coming 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 in the Toronto recreation shortly earlier than Messi, and after the match Martino stated neither would play in Saturday’s recreation away to Orlando City. Miami managed a draw in that match to maintain their MLS Cup playoff hopes alive.
Messi’s influence on Miami since arriving in July in a blockbuster deal has been outstanding. He’s scored 11 targets and contributed to a complete of 16, with the staff having by no means misplaced a recreation in which he performed.
Miami are 5 factors behind New York City FC, which they face Saturday in MLS, in the standings for the ultimate playoff spot with 5 video games to play and two video games in hand.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.