Inter Miami vs Real Salt Lake Possible Starting Lineups for MLS Opener 2024

lionel-messi-inter-match-game-pre-season

Four months to the day after his last MLS game, Lionel Messi takes charge of Inter Miami as they open the 2024 MLS season on Wednesday night.

Inter Miami hosts Real Salt Lake to kick off the league’s opening weekend under the bright lights at the newly renamed Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

With roster and salary cap penalties and a focus on the League Cup once Messi came to the US, Miami struggled in MLS all season and missed out on the playoffs. Expectations will be high this year, especially after the off-season acquisition of Messi’s old friend and teammate Luis Suarez.

For Real Salt Lake, Pablo Mastroeni’s side finished fifth in the Western Conference last season, with 20-year-old midfielder Ruben Luna emerging as the league’s rising star. How he plays against Messi will be a great story to watch.

Team news

It’s probably been at least a decade in MLS since we’ve seen forwards with as much experience and talent as Inter Miami this season. With the acquisition of Luis Suarez to team with Lionel Messi, the Herons have a chance to break scoring records this season, provided they can stay healthy.

Partnering with the likes of Diego Gomez, Julian Gressel and Robert Taylor, Inter Miami’s attack could be huge this year. On the other hand, they shipped 13 goals during the club’s whirlwind pre-season tour around the world. Plus, with all the money invested in big stars, they had to ship starting center fielder Kamal Miller this offseason to create cap space.

With this being the start of the season, some players are still working towards 90-minute match fitness and it could be a different starting XI in a few months time.

Inter Miami (4-3-3): Drake Callender (GK) — DeAndre Yedlin, Tomas Aviles, Nicolas Freire, Jordi Alba — David Ruiz, Sergio Busquets, Julian Gressel — Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Diego Gomez

Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Zac MacMath (GK) — Andrew Brody, Alexandros Katranis, Justin Glad, Bryan Oviedo — Pablo Ruiz, Matt Crooks, Braian Ojeda — Fidel Barajas, Chicho Arango, Ruben Luna

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