Inter Miami continues its preparations for the 2024 MLS season with a friendly against Hong Kong League 11 on Sunday at the Hong Kong Stadium in Hong Kong.
With a draw and three defeats in a row, the Herons are looking for their first win of the pre-season. A goalless draw with El Salvador was followed by a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas, then a 4-3 defeat by Al Hilal and most recently a 6-0 defeat by Al Nassr.
Dubbed the ‘last clash between the GOATS’, Cristiano Ronaldo sat out entirely while Lionel Messi only came on in the 83rd minute. Regardless, the Knights of Najd put on a goal-scoring exhibition, finding the net six times, including a hat trick from Talisca.
With 19 days to go until Inter Miami’s campaign opener against Real Salt Lake, the team has three more games to prepare for the new season, maybe even pick up a few wins to build momentum before the curtain raiser.
The Hong Kong League XI is made up of the best players from the Hong Kong First League and represents the side’s top division in exhibition matches. A squad of 25 players was called up for the match in Miami, of which only 12 are local players.
Among their foreign players is Estonian international Henri Anier, who has struck 22 times in 92 games for the Baltic state.
After representing Hong Kong twice at the 2023 Asian Cup, Yapp Hung Fai is now set to keep goal against Messi and co.
Lee Man’s Jose Angel is likely to partner Kitchee’s Oliver Gerbig at centre-back, with Gil and Mahama Awal in attack.
Inter Miami boss Gerardo Martino has assured fans that Messi will definitely play a part against the Hong Kong XI despite injury concerns.
The Argentinian’s former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez are also on the program.
Inter Miami possible XI:
Callender; Yedlin, Sailor, Allen, Alba; Taylor, Busquets, Farias; Borgelin, Messi, Suarez.
Hong Kong XI possible XI:
Yapp; Chow, Angel, Gerbig, Hall; Jantscher, Scott, Cleiton, Chan; Gil, Awal.