Daily KO - Suarez
What you need to know

Messi's status uncertain before Inter Miami vs. CF Monterrey

Lionel Messi will be a game-day decision for Inter Miami CF's Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal first leg against Liga MX titans CF Monterrey, head coach Gerardo Martino confirmed on the eve of Wednesday's clash at Chase Stadium (8 pm ET | FS1, TUDN). The superstar No. 10, who has missed the Herons' last three league matches with a hamstring injury, practiced alongside his teammates during Tuesday morning's training session.

Inter Miami sign forward Afonso

Inter Miami CF have signed forward Leo Afonso through the 2024 MLS season with options spanning 2025-27. The 22-year-old was Miami's second-round selection (No. 32 overall) in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft after starring at the University of Virginia.

LA Galaxy acquire Colombian defender Garcés

The LA Galaxy have acquired Colombian defender Emiro Garcés on loan from Liga Dimayor I side Deportivo Pereira. The 22-year-old center back, who occupies an international roster slot, joins through the 2024 MLS season with a purchase option.

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Concacaf Champions Cup continues

Inter Miami have a meetup with Monterrey. The Revs have a long, long road ahead. And the Crew held their own against Tigres. Let’s talk it out.

The (CCC) recap

D. Rossi (43'), A. Morris (Red Card 77') | A. Gignac (18')

The Crew were up to the task against Tigres, but a remarkable header from André-Pierre Gignac, Cucho Hernández’s absence and a red card for Aidan Morris put a damper on the night.

Gignac handed Tigres an early lead against the run of play with a glancing header that found its way to the bottom left corner of the net, but Diego Rossi answered just before the end of the first half. Neither team could find a breakthrough afterward. Despite missing Cucho for the second straight match for “team policy” reasons, Columbus piled on 17 shots to Tigres’ 10 and missed multiple opportunities to take a lead in the series.

The Crew might rue those missed chances (and Cucho’s absence) as they head to El Volcán. Morris picking up a second yellow won’t help things either. They put together a great performance, but, like so many MLS teams before them, you can’t help but wonder if they let a Mexican giant off the hook. They’ll need to put together a special performance to survive in Nuevo León.

H. Martín (16'), A. Zendejas (24'), C. Calderón (64'), ​​B. Rodríguez (90+1')

A beatdown. Plain and simple. Expectations weren’t high for the Revs coming into this and they stayed low.

They technically have a second leg to play in this series next week, but it feels like it’s time to punt and start doing what they can to recover the pieces of their MLS season. It’s going to take a lot of work to drag themselves out of the cellar.

The (CCC) preview

These are the games Inter Miami had in mind. This project has always been about taking on a team like CF Monterrey with a CCC semifinal berth on the line and holding their own. It’s about winning trophies, plural, of all varieties. 

There’s a problem, though. Right now they don’t look like the Final Boss. The Herons have two wins, two losses and a draw over their last five games in all competitions. They keep taking on injuries to key players. And their underlying numbers suggest they’ve been a below-average MLS side through seven games.

In particular, they’ve looked porous at times defensively. It’s only getting worse as injuries pile up and they’re forced to tinker with ideas like “Sergio Busquets, MLS center back.” Starting center back Nicolás Freire is questionable due to injury. Fellow starter Sergii Kryvtsov is out due to injury. And, on top of that, U22 midfielder Federico Redondo is also out due to injury. These are just the most recent injuries; the full list is much longer. Oh, and did we mention Lionel Messi has missed Miami’s last three games? 

Messi is officially listed as questionable for this one. You have to feel like he’ll at least make an appearance. Even if he gets on the field, you can’t be confident in Inter Miami’s ability to keep Monterrey off the board. Monterrey are always incredibly dangerous, but the current group is tied atop Liga MX with Club América and have scored 23 times through 13 games of the Clausura. It’s not just Rayados; it’s a high-level version. 

Right now, it feels like too many factors are working against the Herons to reach the heights that seemed promised by their roster build. But, then again, one team has Messi and one team doesn’t. One team has Luis Suárez and one team doesn’t. That’s enough to keep you believing. At least a little.

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Good luck out there. Enjoy time with friends.