Why Lionel Messi’s MLS debut with Inter Miami is theoretically pushed back for Aug. 26 at New York Red Bulls



Lionel Messi has taken North American soccer by storm with seven goals while leading Inter Miami CF to the last eight of Leagues Cup, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for his official Major League Soccer debut. Initially, that his first MLS was planned for Aug. 20 against Charlotte FC, but with both teams playing each other in Leagues Cup quarterfinals on Friday (with the winner set to play in either the Leagues Cup final or third place match), the match has now been postponed to a later date.

Inter Miami’s upcoming schedule:

Friday, Aug. 11
Leagues Cup: Inter Miami vs. Charlotte FC, 8:30 p.m. ET

Tuesday, Aug. 15
Leagues Cup semis: Winner of Inter Miami-Charlotte FC

Saturday, Aug. 19
Leagues Cup third-place game and title game

Wednesday, Aug. 23
Open Cup semis: FC Cincinnati vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+/CBS Sports Golazo)

Saturday, Aug. 26
MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday, Aug. 30
MLS: Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m. ET


That turnaround would leave things too short for Miami and Charlotte to play each other again. This would mean that Messi’s MLS debut will potentially be on Aug. 26 against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey, in front of a massive tri-state market. It will be interesting to see how much Messi plays in that match as Inter Miami also have a U.S. Open Cup semifinal match in Cincinnati on Aug. 23 (watch on Paramount+ or CBS Sports Golazo Network) just three days before. At 36, it seems unlikely that Messi will start three games in seven days no matter how impactful he has been to Inter Miami. And theoretically, that would leave his home MLS debut for Aug. 30 against Nashville.

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Despite being 12 points off of a playoff place, league play is already beginning to take a bit of a back seat for the Herons. It’s possible that with all the competitions, this may not be the last Miami game that’s shifted as the league will want to showcase Messi as much as possible.

In the meantime, being able to enjoy his potential run to the Leagues Cup and Open Cup will suffice while anticipation for his MLS debut builds.


Where to buy Messi jersey

Celebrate Lionel Messi’s move to the U.S. with the exclusive range of Inter Miami CF merchandise. You can get the Lionel Messi Inter Miami jersey right here.


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