In his first season at Inter Miami, Lionel Messi will enjoy something he’s not used to: an extended break.
Well… maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word. After a 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati on Oct. 7, Inter Miami officially failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs, meaning its final two games of the 2023 season will be nothing more than a formality.
This means that Messi will be significantly rested for the next few months, potentially only playing for Argentina’s national team during that time.
When will Inter Miami start the 2024 season?
The schedule for the 2024 MLS season has not yet been released, but will likely begin in late February or early March. By comparison, the 2023 season began on February 25.
The next season may start a little earlier. Major League Soccer is widely expected to vote this offseason to change the schedule and suspend league play during FIFA international breaks starting in 2024, which would mean the league would have to find other times to play those games. Extending the season earlier and later could therefore be an option.
To give a general indication of when the 2024 plan will be announced, the 2023 plan was released on December 22, 2022.
However, Inter Miami’s season may have started earlier than most MLS clubs. This is because they will participate in the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2024, which usually starts either just before or shortly after the start of the Major League Soccer season.
CONCACAF has released the first few dates for the upcoming tournament. Inter Miami will enter the Round of 16 and their season will begin no later than the week of March 5-7, when this stage will be contested. Depending on when the MLS season starts, they could already be in the game at that time, but if MLS started their regular season after this weekend, they would start their season in continental play.