Lionel Messi, the best soccer player of our time brought his magic with him to the MLS. He doesn’t only score great goals, but he also creates incredible scoring chances and helps his team build up attacks from the midfield. His impact has been huge on Inter Miami since he joined the club in July 2023.
However, last Sunday, the 7-time Ballon d’Or winner didn’t travel to Atlanta with his Inter Miami teammates after being involved in international duties with Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers. His absence was deeply felt in the outcome of the match, as his team suffered a massive 5-2 defeat at the hands of Atlanta United.
Messi wasn’t the only Inter-Miami player that didn’t take part in the fixture, his former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba was also absent. While commenting about the omissions, Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino said that he had to rest some of the big names ahead of crucial league matches and the US Open Cup final.
“We risked worse consequences if they came to play this game. It has nothing to do with the artificial surface. Sometimes it is difficult to make decisions because these are also decisive matches but there is a final on the 27th,” Martino was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
Inter Miami took the lead in the 25th minute of the match after Leonardo Campana scored the opening goal of the game. But the visitor’s lead was short-lived as Atlanta United made a remarkable comeback by scoring three goals in a space of eight minutes.
The visitors pulled a goal back in the 54th minute, but their hope of gaining any point from the encounter dimmed as they conceded two more goals later in the game to face a 5-2 loss.
By this outcome, Inter Miami’s chances of reaching the MLS playoffs have suffered a huge setback. The defeat leaves the Fort Lauderdale-based team next to the bottom of the standings of the Eastern Conference in MLS. They’re now six points behind D.C. United.
Inter Miami’s next match is scheduled for Wednesday when they host Toronto FC at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.