A Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami went down 2-1 in last night’s US Open Cup final to Houston Dynamo in Florida.
The Dynamo, previous winners of the trophy in 2018, ran out deserved winners in a hard-fought performance despite their MLS troubles this year.
Inter Miami miss Lionel Messi in Open Cup final
Griffin Dorsey and an Amine Bassi penalty put the Dynamo 2-0 up at Inter’s DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale before Josef Martinez pulled a goal back for The Herons in stoppage time.
Miami hugely missed Messi’s creativity in a disjointed performance. After the match, head coach Tata Martino was coy on Messi’s return date to first-team action, saying, “It was not prudent for him to play… he will certainly play before the league is over”.
The regular MLS season ends on October 21, with the playoffs beginning on October 25.
Messi’s ex-Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba also missed the final because of injury.
Former Atletico Madrid midfielder and Dynamo captain Hector Herrera lifted the trophy aloft after the match in front of a hardy portion of Orange Crush fans, as well as part-owner and NBA Legend James Harden, who had made the long trip from Texas.