MLS doesn’t stop for the upcoming international break, something that is always the case in the US competition because it doesn’t follow the European calendar. However, this time the drama is high for Inter Miami, the team of the moment, in their climb towards the playoffs. They will be without Leo Messi. And that will have a big impact.
The data does not lie. Beyond the expected impact of Messi’s arrival in MLS, what was perhaps not expected was also his immediate performance on the pitch. The Argentine has brought a dead man back to life, because Inter Miami was a team desperately struggling to win matches before his arrival.
In 11 games, Messi has scored 11 goals and dished out five assists. More than half of Inter Miami‘s goals depend on the Argentine’s magic.
Without Messi, who has been called up by the Argentina national team for the South American qualifiers, Inter Miami are losing more than just a player.
In their upcoming match against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday 9 September, the team coached by Tata Martino will have to survive without their star player. They will also be without Josef Martinez and Robert Taylor, who have also been called up to their respective national teams.
Faucundo Farias and Leonardo Campana will be the offensive focal points to try to achieve a victory that would continue to propel the Miami team in their dream of reaching the MLS play-offs for the title. Both Farias and Campana scored in the win over LAFC.
Sergio Busquets, who decided to retire from the Spanish national team, will be the leader of Inter Miami in Messi’s absence. However, the Spanish midfielder warns of the problem they could face without the Argentine: “Hopefully we can continue in the same dynamic, although without Leo it will be quite difficult because he makes the difference in goals and assists.”
Busquets‘ words worry the Inter Miami fans, who are in a winning momentum that they hope to maintain, even without their idol.
Messi could be available for Inter Miami’s next game against Atlanta United, after returning with Argentina.