HARRISON, N.J. – The Lionel Messi show continues, this time in the Big Apple.
The Inter Miami CF megastar crowned his MLS regular-season debut by finishing an insane passing sequence that sealed a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night – sending the sold-out Red Bull Arena crowd into raptures.
The sequence, which featured Miami’s big three/summertime signings, started when Sergio Busquets pinged a cross-field ball to Jordi Alba, who scissor-kick volleyed the ball to Messi in the penalty box. Messi then hit an X-ray-vision-style pass to Benjamin Cremaschi on the endline, only for the teenage phenom to return the favor by centering the ball back to Messi, who cooly passed the ball into the net.
The classically tiki-taka goal moved Miami to nine games unbeaten (6W-0L-3D) across all competitions and gives Messi 11 goals and six assists in nine appearances since his mid-July arrival.
With the victory, the Herons have now climbed out of the Eastern Conference basement, vaulting past Toronto FC into 14th place as they seek a great escape into the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. They’ve already won Leagues Cup, advanced to the 2023 US Open Cup Final and qualified for the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.