Lionel Messi, Inter Miami host Nashville SC in Leagues Cup final rematch: Live updates

Messi, Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC live updates: Score, highlights

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Lionel Messi and Inter Miami are back on the pitch tonight and their opponent is in search of some revenge.

Inter Miami hosts Nashville SC tonight in DRV PNK Stadium at 7:30 p.m., in a rematch of their Leagues Cup final from 11 days ago.

Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup championship after a thrilling 10-9 edge in penalty kicks settled a 1-1 tie at Nashville’s home pitch on Aug. 19.

Now, Nashville looks to avenge its loss while troubling Inter Miami’s climb back into the MLS Eastern Conference playoff race.

Follow along here for Messi, Inter Miami vs. Nashville live updates throughout the match.

The Inter Miami-Nashville SC game can be streamed live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Messi was all smiles during pregame warmups on the pitch before tonight’s game.

Here’s a quick video of Messi and the Inter Miami players warming up.

After coming off the bench in Saturday night’s win over the New York Red Bulls, former FC Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets are back in the starting lineup tonight against Nashville SC. Jordi Alba, another former Barça player now in Miami, continues to be a starting 11 staple for coach Tata Martino.

Nashville SC, which is in the middle of a run of three games in eight days, is sitting some key players tonight.

Two of Nashville’s designated players – forward Sam Surridge and defender Walker Zimmerman – will not be available. The team’s third designated player, 2022 MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar, will start the game on the bench.

After coming off the bench in his last game against the New York Red Bulls last Saturday, Messi is expected to start in tonight’s game against Nashville.

Messi did not start so he could rest after a grueling start to his Inter Miami career.

Since his debut with the club on July 21, Messi has played in nine games with 11 goals and six assists.

And he could be on loan to the Argentina national team next month.

Messi could miss up to three Inter Miami games due to national team duties, Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said after the 2-0 win over the Red Bulls last Saturday.

“The importance is that we value winning and winning this way because it’s something we have to get accustomed to. Leo is gonna miss at least three games,” Martino said. “He’s gonna get called up by his national team and others too. We know that the team has to continue to win without them at times.”

Martino didn’t specify which games Messi will miss, or if he’ll miss games due to rest.

Inter Miami’s upcoming schedule following Wednesday’s match:

Sept. 3: at Los Angeles FC

Sept. 9: home vs. Kansas City

Sept. 16: at Atlanta United

Messi could miss any of the next four MLS matchups as he will be with the Argentina national team for World Cup qualifiers. Argentina will face Ecuador on Sept. 7 and Bolivia on Sept. 12.

Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender and rising 18-year-old standout Benjamin Cremaschi have been called up to represent the United States men’s national team for the upcoming friendly September matches against Uzbekistan (Sept. 9 in St. Louis) and Oman (Sept. 12 in St. Paul, Minnesota).

Callender was named League’s Cup Best Goalkeeper and earned the final Man of the Match honors for his influential performance against Nashville SC.

Cremaschi has one goal, four assists and two match-winning penalties in the past eight matches for Inter Miami. 

The duo will join USMNT after Inter Miami’s match against LAFC on Sunday.

  • Atlanta United vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Charlotte FC vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • New York City FC vs. CF Montréal, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Austin FC vs. Seattle Sounders, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Chicago Fire FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Houston Dynamo FC vs. Columbus Crew, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Minnesota United vs. Colorado Rapids, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • St. Louis City SC vs. FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET

All games available on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Not great.

Inter Miami dug a massive hole for itself in the pre-Messi era, putting itself dead last in the Eastern Conference before defeating the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. Inter Miami now owns 21 points through 23 games played. Most of the teams ahead of Miami in the standings, however, have played at least two more games, so having games in hand helps the cause.

The top nine finishers in each conference make the playoffs. During the 2022 season, the ninth-place finisher in the Eastern Conference had 42 points; in 2021 the ninth-place team had 47 points.

Just to be safe, let’s say Inter Miami needs to get to that 47-point benchmark to have any chance to make the postseason. That would mean averaging 2.4 points a game, winning at least seven of the final 11 games. Any loss would be devastating.

These would be the early MLS playoff matchups, if the season ended before Wednesday night’s games …


Wild-card match:

  • CF Montréal (No. 8 seed) vs. Chicago Fire FC (9)

Round 1 (best-of-three series)

  • FC Cincinnati (1) vs. CF Montréal (8)-Chicago Fire FC (9) winner
  • Philadelphia Union (2) vs. Nashville SC (7)
  • New England Revolution (3) vs. Atlanta United (6)
  • Orlando City SC (4) vs. Columbus Crew (5)


Wild-card match

  • FC Dallas (No. 8 seed) vs. Austin FC (9)

Round 1 (best-of-three series)

  • St. Louis City SC (1) vs. FC Dallas (8)-Austin FC (9) winner
  • Los Angeles FC (2) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (7)
  • Seattle Sounders (3) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (6)
  • Real Salt Lake (4) vs. Houston Dynamo FC (5)

FC Cincinnati can clinch a playoff berth Wednesday night with:

  • Scenario 1: Win at Atlanta United
  • Scenario 2: Draw at Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls loss/draw, Chicago Fire FC loss/draw, Charlotte FC loss/draw
  • Scenario 3: New York Red Bulls loss/draw, Chicago Fire FC loss, Charlotte FC loss/draw
  • Scenario 4: New York Red Bulls loss/draw, Chicago Fire FC draw, Charlotte FC loss
  • Aug. 30: vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Sept. 3: at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Sept. 9: vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Sept. 16: at Atlanta United, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Sept. 20: vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Sept. 24: at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Sept. 26: vs. Houston Dynamo FC (U.S. Open Cup final), time TBD
  • Sept. 30: vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 4: at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 7: vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 18: vs. Charlotte FC, 8 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 21: at Charlotte FC, 6 p.m. ET

With the exception of the U.S. Open Cup final on Sept. 26 (which will be available to stream on the CBS Sports Golazo Network), all other Inter Miami games are available to watch via the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

On Monday, Inter Miami announced that construction has started on the club’s long-awaited new stadium. The stadium is expected to open in 2025. Messi’s contract with the team runs through December 2025.

The 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium will sit on a 58-acre public park and entertainment district at Miami Freedom Park.

Inter Miami has played at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since the team’s inaugural season of 2020.

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