Lionel Messi has dominated some of soccer’s most elite leagues, and he made his grand entrance to Major League Soccer in incredible fashion.

With Inter Miami leading the New York Red Bulls 1-0, Messi came on as a substitute in the 60th minute for his first MLS regular season appearance. He gave the crowd a show, as just before stoppage time, he scored. Messi delivered a beautiful pass and received a return for a tap-in goal to give his squad an insurance score to secure the win.

Messi has ignited Inter Miami CF in his short time with the team, appearing in non-league play andleading the club to the Leagues Cup title earlier this month. The trophy is Inter Miami’s first championship since David Beckham established the team in 2020. The Argentinian superstar scored 10 goals in the tournament and won the best player award.

nter Miami began the night at the bottom of the MLS standings and this is their first step toward climbing into a playoff spot.

When does Lionel Messi play next?

It hasn’t been announced if Messi will play in Inter Miami’s next match, but the next opportunity for him to suit up will be a Leagues Cup title rematch. Inter Miami will host Nashville SC on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET

Inter Miami defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0. Lionel Messi scored the second Miami goal. Diego Gomez scored Miami’s first

Inter Miami in MLS standings

The win over the New York Red Bulls means Inter Miami is no longer in last place in the MLS standings. The win gave the club 21 points in the regular season, putting them in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids are tied for the fewest points in MLS with 19.

Messi scores, Inter Miami takes 2-0

The Messi magic continues.

After a missed set piece, Messi was able to get inside the box and delivered an insane pass to Benjamin Cremaschi, who gave it back to Messi with a wide open net, allowing the Argentinian to score his first official MLS goal in the 89th minute, capping off a perfect night for Inter Miami.

Times Square celebrates Messi’s goal

Saturday’s match was available to watch in Times Square, as a crowd gathered to see Messi makes his MLS regular season debut. Once he scored, the crowd celebrated in the landmark.

Messi was right in his sweet spot to score outside the box in the 86th minute, but New York’s Jorge Cabezas had no choice but to pull him down, drawing a yellow card.

Messi took a set piece but it hit the wall of defenders.

Inter Miami offense stalling with Messi

People were probably expecting Messi magic once he entered the match, but the chances for him to put one in the back of the net have been tough to come by.

Messi has gotten some touches, including in the box, but he and teammates haven’t been able to get a rhythm to create a scoring chance. Messi has been heavily marked in the 20 minutes he’s been on the field, but his team still holds a 1-0 lead. New York has been unable to convert any shots.

Tata Martino makes another change

After 10 minutes of Messi being on the field, Martino made another change, bringing Benjamin Cremaschi in for Facundo Farías.

Messi enters as substitute in 60th minute

Fans paid hundreds to see Messi make his MLS regular season debut, and it took awhile, but it paid off.

Messi entered the match in the 60th minute for Leonardo Campana, marking his first MLS action with his squad up 1-0.

Sergio Busquets and DeAndre Yedlin also entered for David Ruíz and Robert Taylor.

New York Red Bulls ramp up attack

No goals for New York to start the second half, but it’s developed several chances as Inter Miami looks out of sorts on the defensive end. Andrés Reyes and Daniel Edelman each got a shot off, but Miami goalie Drake Callender was able to block each shot. Tom Barlow got a clear shot inside the box, but Callender used all of his body to block the shot and keep New York off the board.

The Red Bulls have spent a majority of the first 10 minutes of the half on the offensive end.

Messi begins to warm up

No Messi to start the second half, but the soccer star started to warm up as the half began, indicating he could come in as a substitute.

Second half substitutions

New York made some moves to its lineup to start the second half, with Peter Stroud coming in for Dru Yearwood and Tom Barlow on for Elias Manoel.

Halftime: Inter Miami 1, New York Red Bulls 0

Diego Gómez’s goal is the difference on the scoreboard at halftime as Inter Miami leads 1-0 as both teams head into the locker room.

Inter Miami had 55% of possession in the first half, with three shots. The New York Red Bulls have five shots, none of which were on goal.

VAR takes away NY Red Bulls penalty

It looked like New York would get its chance to tie it up after a handball was called on David Ruíz in the box. The play went to VAR review, which saw the ball hit his shoulder. The penalty shot was taken away, ending the chance to get on the board for the Red Bulls.

Diego Gómez scores, Inter Miami takes the lead

After the Red Bulls missed an easy shot, Inter Miami didn’t miss their opportunity.

After a deflected free kick, Noah Allen delivered a perfect cross in the middle of the box for Diego Gómez, who had a clear shot on goal and hit the back of the bottom right net to take the lead in the 37th minute.

It was almost a second goal not too long after getting on the scoreboard, as Leonardo Campana went for an acrobatic left-footed shot in the box in the 41st minute, but was saved by goalie Carlos Coronel.

Teams trade yellow cards

Each team drew a foul early on in the match, as the Red Bulls’ Cameron Harper was handed a yellow for a foul that resulted in a Inter Miami set piece. In the 20th minute, Tomás Avilés was given a yellow card for a hard foul. New York was able to get a set piece just outside the box, but it went straight into the Miami wall.

Inter Miami taking early control of possession

More than 12 minutes into the match and Inter Miami has had the majority of the possession. No shot for either squad yet, but Jordi Alba nearly got one off inside the box.


The action is underway from Red Bull Arena!

Is Messi starting?

The starting XI does not feature Messi, as the Argentinian will start Saturday’s match on the bench. He could come in as a substitute later in the match.

Inter Miami starting XI

Martino will go with a 5-4-1 formation for Saturday’s match:

  • Goalkeeper: Drake Callender
  • Robert Taylor
  • Tomás Avilés
  • Kamal Miller
  • Noah Allen
  • Jordi Alba
  • Diego Gómez
  • Dixon Arroyo
  • David Ruíz
  • Facundo Farías
  • Leonardo Campana

New York Red Bulls starting XI

Manager Troy Lesesne will go with a 4-5-1 formation:

  • Goalkeeper: Carlos Coronel
  • John Tolkin
  • Sean Nealis
  • Andrés Reyes
  • Cameron Harper
  • Luquinhas
  • Dru Yearwood
  • Daniel Edelman
  • Frankie Amaya
  • Omir Fernandez
  • Elias Manoel

Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls announcers

Apple TV will have its lead announcing crew on the call, with Jake Zivin serving as play-by-play announcer with Taylor Twellman as lead analyst. Katie Witham will be the sideline reporter.

How to watch Messi, Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls tonight

The match between Inter Miami and the New York Red Bulls starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

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