In the absence of Messi, Inter Miami and Dynamo kick off the US Open Cup final.

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In the absence of Messi, Inter Miami and Dynamo kick off the US Open Cup final.

Lionel Messi's presence has officially been ruled out from Inter Miami's roster for the highly anticipated US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, which has already kicked off.

The team's announcement has cast a cloud of uncertainty over their performance in this pivotal match.

Messi's absence from the final had been a topic of speculation due to an injury concern that emerged prior to the crucial showdown. This absence was conspicuous when he was absent from his team's recent 1-1 draw with Orlando City last Sunday.

The fitness status of the Argentine football sensation has been shrouded in mystery and concern since his return from international duty with the Argentine national team earlier this month.

Messi was substituted in the final minutes of Argentina's 1-0 victory over Ecuador in their South American World Cup qualifier on September 7. As a result, he chose to skip the match against Bolivia five days later.

On the domestic front, the 36-year-old forward had already missed a game against Atlanta on September 16, citing "muscle fatigue" as the reason for his absence. However, he made a swift return to the field, playing against Toronto just four days later. Unfortunately, his return was short-lived as he was substituted after only 37 minutes of play.

Adding to Inter Miami's woes, the club confirmed the unavailability of Messi's former Barcelona teammate, Jordi Alba, for the final. This unexpected development has necessitated a rethink of the team's starting lineup for this critical match.

The US Open Cup, a historic knockout tournament that brings together amateur and professional teams, has been an integral part of American soccer tradition since 1914. It boasts the distinction of being the oldest soccer competition in the United States, with a rich history that adds an extra layer of excitement to the final clash between Inter Miami and Houston Dynamo.

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Abu Bakar Khan

Abu Bakar Khan