Lionel Messi has only been playing soccer stateside for a couple of weeks, but the greatest player of all-time has quickly asserted his dominance in MLS.
Wednesday night was Messi’s third game with Inter Miami, and he came in having already scored three goals in his first two games. In his debut, he came on as a second half sub and delivered a storybook ending to the game by hammering home a game-winner from a free kick just outside the box. Then, in his first start, he scored twice and added an assist, as he has made sure not to disappoint after his highly anticipated signing.
After a lengthy rain delay in Miami, Messi didn’t waste any time keeping his MLS goal scoring streak alive, as just six minutes into the game he made a darting run behind the Orlando FC defense, taking advantage of some confusion to get on the end of a beautifully lobbed ball from Robert Taylor that he calmly brought down and smashed into the back of the net.
That man Messi ?
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 3, 2023
It really is incredible watching Messi dominate so casually. Part of his greatness has always been that he’s in total control and looks like he’s always in second gear, controlling the chaos around him, but in MLS it really looks like he doesn’t have to try. His teammates have also quickly learned that he will always make the right run at the right time — or find them if they do the same. Inter Miami is undefeated in their two games with Messi on the roster, as his presence has immediately changed their fortunes as the league’s worst team, and mere minutes into his third game he gave them a leg up (which they promptly gave back 10 minutes later).