Lionel Messi a doubt for Inter Miami’s US Open Cup final, coach Tata Martino admits… both Argentina star and Jordi Alba are OUT of Orlando game this weekend after injury scare vs. Toronto
Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba will miss Inter Miami’s match against Orlando on Sunday after being sent off during the 4-0 win over Toronto on Wednesday night.
And coach Tata Martino admitted Messi is now unsure whether to play in next week’s US Open Cup final against Houson Dynamo.
“They practiced normally and we felt like they were ready to play. I don’t think it’s something new or something worse than what they had. It’s fatigue.” , Martino said.
“I don’t think it’s a muscle injury. They have no chance of playing the match against Orlando, but I don’t think it’s serious or muscular injuries. I think it’s just fatigue.
The coach added that Messi will be evaluated day by day between now and next Wednesday’s final, in consultation with the medical team. The win against Toronto was the first of six games in 18 days for Miami.
Tata Martino has admitted that Lionel Messi is no longer sure of playing in next week’s US Open Cup final.
Messi and Jordi Alba (left) were sent off during the 4-0 win over Toronto on Wednesday night.
Alba had ice on his right hamstring after coming off ten minutes before the end of the first half at DRV PNK Stadium.
Messi showed the same frustration minutes later when he handed over the armband and was substituted just 37 minutes after his return to MLS.
“Messi and Jordi had to come out. They were two unexpected substitutions. We will evaluate them these days,” Martino said at half-time.
It was apparently only the eighth time in 937 career starts that Messi was substituted before half-time – and the first since October 2018.
The 36-year-old was back in the squad after missing the team’s 5-2 loss at Atlanta on Saturday with what coach Martino described as “muscle fatigue.”
The loss further dented Miami’s hopes of reaching the playoffs, but Messi participated fully in practice on Tuesday and returned straight to the starting lineup.
“I don’t believe it’s something new or something worse than what they had. It’s fatigue,” Martino said.
Messi hadn’t played for Miami since Sept. 4 after taking international duty and missing both Atlanta’s loss and the team’s win over Kansas City.
Shortly after Wednesday’s doubleheader, Facundo Farias gave Miami the lead and Martino’s team eventually won 4-0.
Robert Taylor – who replaced Messi – scored two brilliant second-half goals, with Benjamin Cremaschi also on the scoresheet.
Messi was seen walking down the DRV PNK stadium tunnel shortly before halftime. He was walking unassisted but appeared to change something shortly before leaving the field. His body language told the story: his night was over.