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Dynamo manager makes major Messi ‘injury’ remark ahead of US Open Cup final | Football News

Lionel Messi was not part of Inter Miami training session ahead of the US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo on Wednesday. Messi’s availability in the summit clash is still not certain as he is currently recovering from an injury. Amid uncertainty over Messi’s participation, Houston Dynamo head coach Ben Olsen said that he expects the former Barcelona footballer to script a return in the US Open Cup final encounter scheduled to be played at the DRV PNK Stadium in Florida.

Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami looks on during a match between Toronto FC and Inter Miami CF(Getty Images via AFP)
Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami looks on during a match between Toronto FC and Inter Miami CF(Getty Images via AFP)

“We’re pretty sure he’ll play. We’ll prepare for them in that way. They’ve got some options if that isn’t the case. But we’ll prepare for their best lineup unless we hear something more concrete. There’s been thousands of coaches that have tried to stop him and thousands of coaches have failed constantly, so I don’t have the magic bullet to stop Messi,” Olsen said while talking to the reporters ahead of the final match.

“No one has proven that they do have that. But of course, we’re all trying to do the same thing: limit his space and condense the areas. There’s all these little tricks that you can do to try to limit him. But they’ve also put together a very good supporting cast around him so now you dial in too much there and there’s a lot of other guys that can hurt you,” Olsen added.

Lionel Messi was last seen in action last week during Inter Miami’s 4-0 Major League Soccer (MLS) win over Toronto FC. Messi, however, came off the pitch due to injury in the first half of the game. The Argentine did not travel with the Inter Miami squad for the fixture against Orlando City SC.

There is still no clarity on Messi’s injury status. It is still not clear if the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is dealing with fatigue or whether he is suffering from some kind of an injury.

While talking about Messi’s availability, Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said, “In this case, we sit with him asking how he feels. Maybe other players, one makes a decision, but here we will make a decision we are in agreement over. Here, there are questions. The player, the [U.S. Open Cup] final, and what comes after. These three scenarios have to be evaluated; it is not just about the next game. Risk is always there, but we try to decrease the margin of risk.”

A victory in the US Open Cup final will guide Inter Miami to their second silverware this season. The Herons have already claimed the Leagues Cup in this campaign. After the game against Houston Dynamo, Inter Miami have five games to play in the regular season of the MLS. Messi and his Inter Miami teammates are still contention for a playoff berth.

Inter Miami will resume their MLS campaign with a match against New York City FC, who currently occupy the last playoff qualification spot, ninth place, in the Eastern Conference standings.

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