Tata Martino confirms Inter Miami duo will miss Orlando City clash

  • Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi were subbed off in first half vs Toronto FC due to injuries
  • Herons still prevailed without them 4-0, thanks to goals from Taylor, Farias & Cremaschi
  • Tata Martino said after the win that the duo will not feature against Orlando City
Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi will not play against Orlando City
Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi will not play against Orlando City / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Inter Miami head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino has confirmed that former Barcelona now turned MLS duo Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba will miss their side's clash with in-state rivals Orlando City on September 24.

After both were left out of Martino's squad and didn't travel with the team to Atlanta, the two legendary figures were named in the starting lineup Wednesday night against Toronto FC.

However, the duo both came off around the same time in the first half - Alba made way for Noah Allen in the 35th minute, while Messi came off in the 37th minute for Robert Taylor, who went on to score twice and add one assist in the game.

Despite Messi and Alba coming off earlier than expected, Sergio Busquets and the likes of Facundo Farias and Tomas Aviles led the Herons to a dominant 4-0 triumph over the Canadian side.

"We have to go day by day, see the medical report, see what they themselves tell us," Martino said of Messi and Alba. "We'll monitor them and we’ll think about it. Obviously, there’s no chance they'll play on Sunday [against Orlando]."

Both Messi and Alba have taken to life in south Florida quite well, with the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner registering 11 goals and five assists in 12 appearances across all competitions for the Herons.

Alba hasn't been to shabby, either, scoring two goals and adding two assists in 11 appearances for Miami. Both were integral to Miami securing the Leagues Cup title over Nashville just over a month ago, the first trophy in the club's history.

"In principle, it's a scar from an old injury that's bothering him," Martino added. "The image brought with him from Argentina, there was no muscular injury. We also preserved him [against Atlanta United], because of that scar."

As Miami have shown ambition over the summer with the additions of Messi, Busquets, and Alba as well as adding young talent for the now and the future, expectations have risen for the south Florida side - consistently compete for and win trophies.

But Martino made it a point to say that even though Miami have a chance to hoist their second-ever trophy on September 27 against Houston Dynamo in the US Open Cup final, he won't take any risks if his players are not fit enough to take part.

"I know we have a final [on September 27], but in no way will they step on the field if they're not in conditions to do so," he said.

The Herons, now in 13th place in the Eastern Conference table with 31 points, are back in action on September 24 as they take on rivals Orlando at Exploria Stadium in an MLS matchday 34 clash.

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