Argentina National Team to play in Los Angeles and Philadelphia in March

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The fallout from Lionel Messi’s absence from Inter Miami’s match in Hong Kong has led to two opportunities to see him play in the United States next month.

Messi is likely to join Argentina, the reigning Copa America 2021 and World Cup 2022 winners, for both matches to help the club prepare for this summer’s Copa America tournament.

Argentina will play El Salvador at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on March 22 and Nigeria at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on March 26, it was announced on Thursday.

Messi would miss Inter Miami’s road game against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on March 23, but could play twice more in the New York area later this year.

Messi is likely to return to action with Inter Miami on March 30 at home against New York City FC. The two teams will meet again at Yankee Stadium on September 21st.

Argentina will face Canada or Trinidad and Tobago in their Copa America opener on June 20 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Argentina’s second game is against Chile on June 25 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Argentina will also face Peru on June 29 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida for the Copa America final.

Messi assisted and directed Inter Miami’s 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in the 2024 MLS season opener on Wednesday night.

Chinese officials canceled two of Argentina’s matches in the country after Messi failed to appear in Inter Miami’s friendly in Hong Kong on February 4 due to an adductor injury, causing fans and local officials to express disappointment at his absence. To make matters worse, Messi looked almost healthy when he played in Tokyo on February 7th.

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