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LIVE: Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls as Lionel Messi plays in MLS match


Now established as solid leaders for the Supporters’ Shield through 11 matches of the 2024 season, Inter Miami host Eastern Conference contenders New York Red Bulls in a top-of-the-table clash at Chase Field on Saturday.

While the early portion of the season threatened to derail their campaign with injuries, Inter Miami have now definitively proven that as long as Lionel Messi is on the field, they are the best team in Major League Soccer. While questions still remain about their viability without the Argentine great, Tata Martino hopes his side won’t have to answer those for much of this year.

Messi leads MLS this year in goals and is tied for the lead in assists, and his efforts to carry Inter Miami on his back have the club first in the Eastern Conference with 21 points from 11 games, although they’ve played one more match than nearly everyone else.

The Red Bulls sit third in the East, four points behind Inter Miami with a game in hand, meaning they are right in the thick of the battle. They have fallen off the pace slightly thanks to two straight draws but have lost just one match all season, which keeps them firmly in the hunt.

The Sporting News is following the Inter Miami vs New York Red Bulls match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

MORE: See the full updated MLS top goal scorers list as Lionel Messi leads the Golden Boot rankings

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT
Location: Chase Stadium (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Starting lineups (predicted):

Inter Miami (4-3-3, right to left): Callender (GK) — Weigandt, Freire, Aviles, Alba — D. Ruiz, Busquets, Gressel — Messi, Suarez, Taylor.

NY Red Bulls (4-4-2, right to left): Coronel (GK) — D. Nealis, S. Nealis, Reyes, Tolkin — Gjengaar, Edelman, Carmona, Forsberg — Vanzeir, Morgan.

2 hours to kickoff: Last weekend’s games saw Lionel Messi overtake Cristiano Ronaldo in one stat category between the two in their ever-present career rivalry. Messi now has 723 non-penalty goals in his career, while Ronaldo has 721. Messi has also achieved his total in 161 fewer games, which tracks as he is two years younger.

Ronaldo has always been his team’s penalty taker throughout his career for club and country, while Messi has had less success from the spot, so it makes sense that he would do more of his damage from other situations.

There are two big questions for Tata Martino ahead of this match regarding his squad’s availability. First, Jordi Alba has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, and the timeline for his return is still unclear. It’s thought he could potentially be back here as he was held out last week largely due to the Gillette Stadium field surface being turf, but with this game at home he could return.

Additionally, Luis Suarez came off the bench against the New England Revolution last weekend, amidst a chronic knee issue that needs consistent management, so it remains to be seen whether he is fit enough to start this game or if he needs more care.

Otherwise, Inter Miami are beginning to get healthier each week. Diego Gomez is down for another few weeks with an ankle injury, while Serhiy Kryvtsov remains absent with a hamstring injury and Federico Redondo is down with a knee problem. Otherwise, there’s only the long-term absence of ACL victim Facundo Farias to worry about, and things look far more promising than they did a few weeks ago.

Inter Miami projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Callender (GK) — Weigandt, Freire, Aviles, Alba — D. Ruiz, Busquets, Gressel — Messi, Suarez, Taylor.

Inter Miami subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)

The New York Red Bulls will be without their most-used center-back Noah Elie who is suspended for his red card against the Whitecaps last weekend. Otherwise, the absentee list for the Supporters’ Shield contenders is minimal.

Peter Stroud is down for a few weeks due to an ankle injury. Besides that, it’s just a few youngsters who dot the injury list, like Wake Forest draftee Roald Mitchell who has a knee issue to worry about that will keep him out until the summer, while academy products Serge Ngoma and Ronald Donkor are missing with minor issues.

NY Red Bulls projected starting lineup (4-4-2): Coronel (GK) — D. Nealis, S. Nealis, Reyes, Tolkin — Gjengaar, Edelman, Carmona, Forsberg — Vanzeir, Morgan.

NY Red Bulls subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)

This match can be streamed around the globe exclusively on MLS Season Pass from Apple TV, with every match of the 2024 MLS season as well as the entire Leagues Cup available with a subscription.

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