Dozens of celebrities, including Matt Damon, Bad Bunny, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Fat Joe, DMC and many of the best tennis players in town for the US Open were on the guest list for the highly anticipated match, which was shown live on a giant screen. Screen in Times Square.
The burning question ahead of the match was whether Messi would start after playing in all eight matches since his arrival, including the full 90 minutes in the last six matches and 120 minutes in Wednesday’s US Open semi-final victory.
Coach Tata Martino chose to rest five key players – Messi, Sergio Busquets, Joseph Martinez, DeAndre Yedlin And Benjamin Karimachi. Instead, he filled the squad with five Under-22 players Facundo Farias, Diego Gomez, David Ruiz, Noah Allen and Thomas Aviles.
Messi, Busquets, Martinez, Yedlin and Karimachi were all on the bench, available to come on as substitutes.
At least a third of the fans at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night wore pink Miami jerseys, Messi No. 10 jerseys from the Argentine national team and F.C.B. Messi merchandise had been on sale from the moment fans descended on the trackside train platform next to the stadium. Along the streets and in the parking lot, Messi’s shirts, caps, scarves and pins were for sale.
Large groups of Argentine fans dressed in Messi shirts gathered to enjoy a pre-match steak barbecue.
After a one-month hiatus to play cup tournaments, Inter Miami resumed playing in the MLS away from home. This was the first league match for Messi and Busquets. AlbaFarias, Gomez W AvilesAnd they all signed this summer.
Martino said he may have to change his starting line-up as players looked tired after a busy schedule over the past month.
Miami have played four games in the last 12 days, three of which are away, and have three more over the next nine days — at the Red Bulls on Saturday, at home against Nashville On Wednesday, on the road ahead of Los Angeles on September 2nd.