After suffering a loss at home to FC Cincinnati by the score of 1-0 on Saturday, Lionel Messi and Inter Miami were no longer able to compete for a spot in the postseason of Major League Soccer.
Messi made his comeback from injury in the 55th minute as a replacement, but Cincinnati still prevailed thanks to a goal from Argentine Alvaro Barreal, who scored the game-winning goal. Cincinnati is the top seed in the playoffs.
The other outcomes, which went against Miami, placed Messi’s team in a position where they were second to last in the Eastern Conference. They were also seven points down from the last playoff slot with just two games left to play.
Since his return from injury treatment with Argentina’s national team on September 3, Messi has played just 37 minutes for his club. Messi’s injury occurred when he was away on international duty with Argentina last month.
Without him, Miami suffered, paying the price for their successful run to the championship of the Leagues Cup in August, when Messi lit up the competition and claimed his first trophy since joining the club in July. Without him, Miami paid the price for their successful run to the title.
After suffering a humiliating defeat away at Chicago on Wednesday by a score of 4-1, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s club have now won just one of their previous six Major League Soccer matches. Miami’s setback on Saturday was their second consecutive defeat.
Messi had participated in the team’s lone victory during that losing streak, coming off the bench in the first half of a 4-0 victory over the worst club in the league (Toronto).
After winning the League Cup in Nashville on 19 August, there was speculation of Miami adding two more trophies to their collection this season. However, they were unable to compete with Messi in the US Open Cup final and lost to Houston, which caused them to fall out of contention in the league.
Both of Miami’s remaining matches are against Charlotte, with the latter taking place away from home on October 21. The participation of Lionel Messi, who has been called up by Argentina for their forthcoming World Cup qualifying matches, is still up in the air at this time.
Despite winning their season finale against New York City FC by a score of 2-0, Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United were not able to secure a spot in the postseason and were thus eliminated.