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What Will Inter Miami Do Without Lionel Messi?

Lionel Messi is on a mission: Leading Argentina to its third consecutive major title. La Albiceleste is the online betting favorite to win the 2024 Copa America, and Messi has a lot to do with that. Meanwhile, MLS action will not stop, which means Inter Miami will have to defend the Eastern Conference top spot without the GOAT.


What Will Inter Miami Do Without Lionel Messi?
Inter Miami's Argentine Forward #10 Lionel Messi | Chris Arjoon / Afp



Can the Herons keep winning? Let’s try to find an answer.

Does Inter Miami Really Need Messi at This Point?

First, let’s talk about what Messi has done this season. The Argentinian is one of the league’s top scorers with 12 goals. Only Cristian Arango from Real Salt Lake and Christian Benteke from DC United have scored more with 16 and 13. He also leads the league in assists with nine, and we can’t underestimate the effect his mere presence has on rivals.

This won’t be the first time that the Herons have to play without Messi. Most recently, he missed the visit to the Vancouver Whitecaps, which the Herons won 2-1. Messi returned for the next two games, but Miami failed to win, losing 3-1 to Atlanta United and drawing 3-3 against St. Louis City SC.



Key Players Out, But Strong Road Record Should Keep Miami Afloat

Besides Messi, Inter Miami will have to play without Matias Rojas. The attacking midfielder will represent Paraguay in Copa America 2024. Rojas joined the team a couple of months ago, but he already scored three goals, including this beauty:

There’s also David Ruiz, who will play two friendly matches with Honduras, but he’ll return after that since La H failed to qualify for the continental tournament. The same happens with Benjamin Cremaschi, who will join the US Men’s Olympic team for a camp but will return on June 12.

At the time of writing, centre-striker Luis Suarez isn’t on Uruguay’s roster for Copa America. However, there are still seven spots available, so there’s a high possibility he will be called in.

During Copa America, Inter Miami will play five games, but only one at home. Fortunately for them, they’ve been performing extremely well on the road, going 4-1-0 in their last five away games. The most important match will be on July 6 against FC Cincinnati, which will probably decide who keeps the Eastern Conference top spot.


Who Will Take Miami’s Lead?

Well, that depends. Having Suarez would be huge for the team. He has scored 12 goals and is a natural-born leader. But if Suarez is called up, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will have to take the lead.

Both players are having a great season. Alba even managed to score in the thriller against St. Louis City SC.

Regarding the attack, Leonardo Campana will have to take the reins without Suarez. Ecuador did Inter Miami a favor by not including him on the roster.

Midfielder Robert Taylor, who has been with the team since 2022, has been waiting for an opportunity like this. With the arrival of Messi, Suarez, and Rojas, his minutes have decreased considerably, but he remains a very talented player, already scoring three goals off the bench.

One last thing, if Argentina fails to advance to the quarterfinals, Messi would return much sooner… but I wouldn’t count on it. According to the latest soccer lines, Argentina is -140 to reach the Copa America Final.



Question of the Day

Who’s the current favorite to win the 2024 MLS Golden Boot?

Cristian Arango and Lionel Messi at +225 odds.

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