Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino has said the club could “take a risk” on star forward Lionel Messi in Wednesday’s US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo.
The Argentine forward was forced off with an injury after 37 minutes against Toronto FC and sat out Monday’s draw at Orlando City.
“We will decide tomorrow based on how he’s feeling,” Martino said.
Martino also said Messi had triggered an old injury but noted that he could make a return for the MLS side in the final.
Martino added, “Here, there are questions. The player, the [US Open Cup] final, and what comes after.
“These three scenarios have to be evaluated; it is not just about the next game. Risk is always there, but we try to decrease the margin of risk.
“If it wasn’t a final, we wouldn’t take any risk, but because it is a final, there is a chance we take that risk.”
However, the manager confirmed that defender Jordi Alba is doubtful for the fixture.
Messi signed for the MLS franchise in July after his contract with Paris St-Germain expired.
The 36-year-old has already helped Inter Miami win the Leagues Cup, beating Nashville SC on penalties in the final.
Inter Miami have not lost any of the 12 matches in which Messi has featured, while he has scored 11 goals and provided five assists.
The final signals a chance for the MLS outfit to win their second trophy since Messi joined the club, adding to their victory in the Leagues Cup last month.
The U.S. Open Cup, a knockout tournament for amateur and professional teams, has been competed for since 1914, making it by far the oldest soccer competition in the country.
After the final, Miami have five games remaining in the MLS regular season as they seek to seal a late spot in the playoff positions.
On Saturday, Miami host New York City FC who currently hold the last playoff qualification spot, ninth place, and five points ahead of Inter Miami.
Why I No Longer Have Whatsapp Group With Messi, Neymar – Suarez
Former Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez has explained why he no longer has a Whatsapp group with his former Blaugrana attacking teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Suarez, along with Messi and Neymar, formed one of the most fearsome attacking troickas in history during their time together at Barca.
During the ESPN Bola de Prata ceremony, the Uruguay international spoke about the Whatsapp group he used to have with Messi and Neymar (as per ESPN):
“We had a WhatsApp group, but Leo changed his number.
“Ney also changed his number. … They change all the time, so we lost it. … But we talk a lot individually.”
Suarez is set to leave Brazilian club Gremio as a free agent following the conclusion of the 2023 season.
The 36-year-old scored 26 goals and provided 17 assists in 53 games across competitions for Gremio.
EPL: Ian Wright Hits Out At Man Utd Star For Disrespecting Hojlund
Arsenal legend, Ian Wright has hit out at Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot for not setting up Rasmus Hojlund in the Red Devils’ Premier League 3-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday.
During the encounter, Dalot, who was played in by Antony in the 67th minute, opted to shoot from a tight angle rather than find Hojlund.
Hojlund, who is yet to find his first league goal, was in a central area and would’ve had a simple close-range finish if the ball came his way.
But instead of cutting the ball back for the Denmark international, Dalot fired the ball into the side netting.
Speaking on Match of the Day, Wright claimed Dalot’s decision showed a lack of respect towards Hojlund.
Wright said: “It was for me, when I saw that it was Dalot, and at 1-0, we are talking about Hojlund’s come on now and he wants his chance.
“This is good play from them. He gets in, he’s got to square this. He’s got to square it to him.”
He continued, “I think the total lack of respect for him. Look, he’s had a shot from the most ridiculous angle.
“He’s upset with himself. But he doesn’t even look for Hojlund, has a ridiculous shot. And Bournemouth score a minute later. Hojlund, he’s got to be pulling him up in the dressing room about that.”
EPL: Why Everton Beat Us 2-0 – Cheslea Coach, Pochettino Opens Up
Chelsea head coach, Mauricio Pochettino has suggested why his team lost 2-0 against Everton in Sunday’s Premier League tie.
Pochettino watched as two goals from Lewis Dobbin and Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Everton all three points against the Blues at Goodison Park.
Speaking at his post-match interview after the game, Pochettino said his team lacked concentration during the encounter against Sean Dyche’s side.
“There are 11 players on the pitch that need to perform. The problem is why we arrive in this situation, it is difficult to explain,” Pochettino said.
“We know why we are dealing with this. Newcastle lose 3-0 and Everton was much better and credit for Everton but today I think we were better than Everton and we feel disappointed and frustrated.
“It is not only to dominate and play well but we cannot show this lack of concentration. We were punished too much today, too many positive things, I know it is difficult to talk about positive things in the position.”
Chelsea have now dropped to 12th position on the Premier League table after the defeat against Everton.
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