MLS Player of the Week
The MLS season resumes on Sunday, and Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami is fighting for a playoff spot. Inter Miami was the brainchild of David Beckham and Jorge Mas, who has a winning mentality and wanted to shape the course of the franchise and made the impossible by hiring Messi.
The World Cup winner scored a signature goal Saturday to lead Inter Miami past Nashville FC in a penalty kick shootout to capture the Leagues Cup title and score the club’s first trophy. Messi earned the 44th trophy, becoming the most decorated men’s footballer in history.
In the 22 regular season matches Inter Miami has played, they’ve collected just 18 points. That puts them in last place in the Eastern Conference, 12 points back of the final playoff spot. They would have to go on a near-unprecedented run to even have a sniff of the postseason, but adding Messi is certainly a step in the right direction.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner finished the Leagues Cup with 10 goals in seven matches since joining the team. The Florida-based club has 12 games to play in MLS, and the line for Messi to win the Player of the Week award is set at 3½ times. We expect him to play in every match and deliver for his team, so we’re backing the over, priced at -165, according to the latest soccer odds.
Open Cup Semifinal Goalscorer
Messi is only 20 goals away from breaking Inter Miami’s scoring record since their first professional season in 2020, which is held by former national team teammate Gonzalo Higuain. Messi has registered 10 goals in just seven games, scoring 1.42 goals per game. He definitely has the necessary weapons to continue the form shown in the League Cup, not only for the MLS restart but also for the Open Cup semifinals.
Coach Gerardo Martino confirmed Messi will start Wednesday in the team’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal, so we will definitely include him in our soccer picks and parlays. Wednesday’s match against FC Cincinnati will mark Miami’s sixth in the past 22 days, but Messi looks fresh and ready find the back of the net again, priced at -165.
The winner of that match will take on either Real Salt Lake or the Houston Dynamo in the championship next month. After Wednesday’s match, Messi will finally make his MLS debut when Miami takes on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
MLS Regular Season Goals
Although Miami is at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, with just 18 points in 22 matches, there is a good chance they will make the playoffs with the addition of Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba. While the Argentine star is sure to rest at some point, he seems perfectly fine so far in Miami.
With 12 games left until the end of the regular season, the line for Messi’s MLS goals is set at 9½. He scored 10 goals in his first seven appearances for Inter Miami in the Leagues Cup, and we don’t see any reason why he can’t score at least 10 goals in the remaining MLS regular season fixtures. If you’re betting online, you should take the over at -130.