Source – Messi not traveling with Inter Miami for game in Atlanta

Inter Miami CF star Lionel Messi did not journey with the crew for Saturday’s street game in opposition to Atlanta United FC, a supply told ESPN Argentina.

Messi uncharacteristically left Argentina’s World Cup qualifying win final week over Ecuador earlier than the ultimate whistle, and though he made Wednesday’s journey to Bolívia, he was not named in coach Lionel Scaloni’s 23-man squad for the three-0 victory at La Paz’s excessive altitude.

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Miami coach Gerardo Martino stated early Friday that Messi is “fine” however he needed to attend till after the final coaching earlier than the game to decide in regards to the star’s availability in opposition to Atlanta.

“We will be careful with him because we have a lot of important games in a short span,” Martino stated.

Miami’s schedule was packed earlier than the worldwide break, and it has a fast turnaround earlier than Wednesday’s house match with Toronto FC. Messi may even have extra World Cup qualifiers to navigate in October, with CONMEBOL qualifiers in opposition to Paraguay (Oct. 12) and Peru (Oct. 17).

Miami’s video games round that point would each be in opposition to Charlotte FC: at house on Oct. 18 and in North Carolina on Oct. 21 to shut out the common season.

“This is something that we knew would happen at some point, but that he would begin to get used to our needs, especially for seasons like this with a lot of matches,” Martino stated in regard to the prospect of resting Messi extra because of his schedule.

“Playing each match, 90 minutes each game, two to three days with travel in between would get difficult.”

Messi educated with the crew Thursday and Friday, and though Atlanta performs on turf, the 36-12 months-previous stated in his lone information convention final month that he performed on turf as a youth and would not have an issue doing it once more.

“The truth is my youth was spent on artificial turf, my whole life was on that pitch,” he stated. “It’s been a while since I’ve played on artificial turf, but I have no problem adapting myself again.”

Turf has been a scorching subject this week after many blamed the floor for future Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ torn Achilles tendon suffered in his first game with the New York Jets.

Atlanta is considered one of two MLS groups left on Inter Miami’s remaining away schedule that play on turf. Charlotte is the opposite, and Miami will not play there till the final game of the common season, by which period Miami would possibly have already got sewn up a playoff spot.

If it does make the playoffs, Miami may nicely face a visit one other Eastern Conference golf equipment that has turf — the New England Revolution. Despite their current managerial points, the Revs are at present in second place in the standings.

A win Saturday may propel Miami — with some assist elsewhere — from 14th to eleventh in the Eastern Conference, leaving it solely three factors off the playoffs.

Miami has already overwhelmed Atlanta twice this season, defeating it 2-1 in May earlier than Messi’s arrival, after which 4-0 in the Leagues Cup again in July, which was Messi’s first begin and in which he contributed two targets and an help.

Saturday would be the first journey again to the 404 for Martino, who coached the crew for three seasons, main it to an MLS Cup title in 2018. He departed after that win to take the pinnacle-teaching job with the Mexico nationwide aspect.

As many as 70,000 followers may pack into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to catch a glimpse of Messi on Saturday. The least expensive nosebleed tickets are going for $130 on secondary ticket websites, even with the potential of Messi not beginning the game.

Atlanta sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, however it has gained solely two of its previous eight video games in all competitions and has allowed 43 targets this season, the second-most in the league behind Portland.

The crew is led by Thiago Almada, the 22-12 months-previous Argentine midfielder who has been in comparison with Messi because of his top (5-foot-7) and his technical means. He leads the league with 11 assists, and he and Messi exchanged jerseys after their Leagues Cup assembly in July.

Atlanta was struggling earlier than the summer season switch deadline however added some key tempo on the wings in Xande Silva and Saba Lobjanidze, who’ve stepped up in a giant approach since their arrival, combining for a objective and three assists in 4 video games.

Also on Friday, Miami signed Leonardo Campana to a contract extension by means of 2027 with an choice for 2028.

Information from ESPN’s Ross Devonport contributed to this report.

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