Inter Miami will have to continue their drama-filled playoff chase without Lionel Messi for the foreseeable future.
With the club embroiled in a late comeback in the Eastern Conference table, Messi will leave the club to play for his country, called up for September international duty with Argentina.
With Major League Soccer not suspending league play for international windows like many other leagues around the world do, Inter Miami will have to do without Messi and a number of other players during this time.
In fact, Inter Miami will see a whopping nine players leave on international duty in September, the most of any MLS club in this window and the most for Inter Miami in any international window in the club’s short history.
How many Inter Miami games will Lionel Messi miss?
According to Inter Miami head coach Gerardo Martino, Lionel Messi will have to miss at least two Inter Miami matches while on international duty with Argentina. However, those three games are not all in the same international window.
Martino actually indicated that Messi would miss three games, but there are only two direct conflicts on the schedule as it stands.
Likely, those matches will be spread across the September and October international breaks. Officially, according to FIFA, international breaks occur from September 4-12, and October 9-17. During those dates, clubs are required to release their players for international games should they be called up.