Lionel Messi is flying high with Inter Miami and now he’s after a spot in the Leagues Cup semifinals. After overcoming FC Dallas in dramatic fashion, the Florida football team is set to clash this Friday night with another MLS Eastern Conference rival, Charlotte FC.
Against FC Dallas, the team co-owned by David Beckham hit its first rough patch since Messi’s arrival. After comfortable wins against Orlando City and Atlanta United, the team led by Gerardo Martino required once again some magic from the World Cup-winner in the dying moments of the game, tying the score with an incredible free-kick and sending the match to a penalty shootout.
“What Leo did is no different than what he did seven months ago in the World Cup,” said coach Martino in the press conference. “With his performances he’s proving what he announced when he arrived, that he wanted to compete and try to win.”
For its quarterfinals clash, Inter Miami will be back at its DRV PNK home stadium in Fort Lauderdale after playing FC Dallas in Texas, its first match away from home since the Argentine star’s tenure began.
The Florida team will host Charlotte FC, who are also undefeated in the competition. It won its group after tying 2-2 with FC Dallas (taking the extra point for winning the penalty shootout) and thrashing Mexican side Necaxa 4-1. In the round of 32 they beat Cruz Azul through a penalty shootout and narrowly defeated Houston Dynamo in the round of 16, getting two goals in 2 minutes with only 10 left to go. Former Racing Club striker Enzo Copetti is the only Argentine on the team, but will be out with injury.
Like all Leagues Cup matches, the clash will be shown by streaming service Apple TV, which has recently experienced a massive surge in subscribers. “The ‘Messi effect’ is real! MLS Season Pass subscribers on Apple TV have doubled since Messi joined Inter Miami,” team co-owner Jorge Mas tweeted Thursday.
Inter Miami and Charlotte FC will face off for a spot in Leagues Cup semifinals this Friday, August 11, at the DRV PNK Stadium in Florida. The match is set to be played at 8:30 p.m. local time, 9:30 p.m. Argentina. An Apple TV subscription is required to watch it, with a monthly cost of US$7, plus the MLS Season Pass costing US$15 dollars per month or US$99 for the entire season.