Messi and Alba in Danger of Missing US Open Cup Final After Picking Up Injuries Against Toronto FC

Messi and Alba in Danger of Missing US Open Cup Final After Picking Up Injuries Against Toronto FC

Joel Reyes
September 21, 2023 at 3:32 AM
  • Inter Miami defeated Toronto FC 4-0 on Wednesday night
  • Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba suffered apparent injuries in the first half of that contest
  • They are in danger of missing the US Open Cup Final against Houston Dynamo

Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba are in danger of missing next week’s US Open Cup Final against Houston Dynamo after they picked up apparent injuries on Wednesday night.

The Argentine star was forced off in the 37th minute of Inter Miami’s win over Toronto FC.

The 36-year-old was moving gingerly on the pitch before he was replaced by Robert Taylor.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, Jordi Alba, MLS, Robert Taylor, Houston Dynamo, US Open Cup Final
Lionel Messi leaves the game after being substituted in the 37th minute against Toronto FC; Messi reacts during the match. Images: Carmen Mandato.
Source: Getty Images

Messi and Alba substituted in first half

Messi stretched his right leg around in midfield before exiting the contest, per USA Today.

He handed his captain's armband to team-mate DeAndre Yedlin upon his departure, leaving fans inside DRV PNK Stadium disappointed.

He wasn’t the only Inter Miami star to leave the game against Toronto FC injured. Jordi Alba also limped off three minutes before Messi’s exit.

Inter Miami ease past Toronto

The good news for Inter Miami is that they still pulled off the win despite missing their two injured stars.

Taylor stepped up big time in Messi’s absence, scoring twice and recording one assist in the Herons’ victory.

Facundo Farias opened the scoring with a volley in the 54th minute before Taylor netted his double. Benjamin Cremaschi also scored for Inter Miami.

Messi and Alba injury update

The main concern for the Herons now is the injury situation of both Messi and Alba. They both missed the previous game against Atlanta United, with Messi skipping that contest due to muscle fatigue, per ESPN.

The gamble to play the pair days later against Toronto backfired, with Messi and Alba in danger of missing more game time as a result.

Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino talked to Apple TV about the injuries during the half-time interval, saying, "They had to come out; we will evaluate them in the coming days."

He provided more information in the press conference after the match, saying:

"Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba felt like they were ready to play today, but fatigue got the better of them with the discomfort they had. We don't think it's anything major in terms of injury."

Messi and Alba are now in a race against time to be fit for the US Open Cup Final against Houston on September 27.

Their experience will be vital in that contest as Inter Miami look to secure their second title this year.

Messi to make Olympics return?

Sports Brief recently reported on Javier Mascherano wanting Messi and Angel Di Maria to bolster Argentina’s squad for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Messi and Di Maria led La Albiceleste to the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup titles.

They were also part of the Argentina side that won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with Mascherano keen to utilise their international experience.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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