Messi availability for Toronto game to be assessed – Martino

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Lionel Messi, who missed Inter Miami‘s 5-2 loss at Atlanta on Saturday due to what coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino referred to as “muscular fatigue,” skilled Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s house game vs. Toronto FC.

However, Martino was noncommittal in a ready assertion to the media relating to whether or not Messi and Jordi Alba — who additionally missed Saturday’s defeat — would characteristic towards the Canadian aspect.

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“Messi and [Jordi] Alba will train in the full session today with the team, and after that we’ll see if they’re available to play and to what extent,” Martino stated.

“Beginning on Wednesday, we have six matches in 18 days, which is one match every three days, including the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.”

Messi skilled twice final week after coming back from World Cup qualifying responsibility with Argentina however didn’t make the journey to Atlanta as his group tasted defeat for the primary time since his arrival.

After Wednesday’s contest with final-positioned Toronto, Miami will play a highway match towards in-state rival Orlando on Sunday after which will tackle Houston in that U.S. Open Cup closing subsequent Wednesday, Sept. 27. Martino stated after Saturday’s loss that his rotations will be targeted on that probability at a second trophy of the season.

“The final is just one game, and we’re in it,” Martino stated after the loss to his former group, Atlanta United.

“It’s very tempting to play for a title. Right now we have seven to eight [MLS] games left. And the reality is that it’s not a guarantee we’ll make the playoffs. It doesn’t mean we won’t go for it, but it’s true that we’re focused on the 27th.”

Miami has picked up one trophy already this season thanks to its Leagues Cup title final month, a win that secured qualification for subsequent yr’s Concacaf Champions Cup in addition to a bye within the opening spherical.

But earlier than it could possibly actually deal with including extra silverware, Miami will be trying to proceed its push for a spot within the MLS Cup playoffs with this game towards Toronto FC and an away journey to Orlando City on Sunday night.

Miami fell 2-0 in Toronto of their solely earlier assembly this season again on March 18, however that was lengthy earlier than the additions of former Barcelona legends Messi, Sergio Busquets and Alba, in addition to the three key U22 initiative signings of Facundo Farías, Diego Gómez and Tomás Avilés.

In reality, solely three starters from that defeat — goalkeeper Drake Callender, heart again Serhiy Kryvtsov and ahead Josef Martínez — are possible to have an honest probability of beginning on Wednesday.

Also serving to Miami’s trigger on this matchup will be the truth that Toronto is in a large hunch.

The Reds have misplaced 9 of their previous 10 MLS video games — being outscored by a margin of 20 targets to eight over that span — and occupy the basement spot within the Eastern Conference the place Miami as soon as sat earlier than its roster transformation.

That transformation was sparked by the signing of Messi, who has 11 targets and 5 assists in his 11 appearances for Miami.

Only a type of targets has are available his three MLS video games (two begins), although, and Martino reiterated Tuesday that he’s going to proceed to be cautious with Messi and his different getting old stars.

“We have a lot of important matches in a short window of time, and one of my responsibilities as the coach is to care for my players and help them make the hard decisions that will give us the best chance of keeping everyone healthy during this busy run,” he stated.

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