Messi (leg) game-time decision for NYCFC game

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Lionel Messi trained Friday morning, but he will be a game-time decision once again for Inter Miami due to a nagging leg injury as they face a key home MLS matchup Saturday against New York City FC.

Assistant coach Javier Morales also said Friday that veteran left back Jordi Alba will miss a second straight contest with a hamstring injury.

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“Leo will train, day-to-day decision,” Morales said. “Jordi will have a longer recovery.”

Both former Barcelona teammates missed out on Wednesday evening’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as Miami failed to claim its second trophy of the season.

Miami conceded 18 shots on goal in the first half before making some adjustments at the break and coming close to forcing extra time with some late chances.

The South Florida club sits five points and five spots outside of the race to make the MLS Cup playoffs, with Saturday’s opponents NYCFC occupying the ninth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. A win on Saturday could jump Miami up from 14th to 11th and within two points of the playoff spots if it manages to claim three points and get some help elsewhere.

Saturday’s contest will be the first of three MLS games in eight days for Miami, a key stretch likely to play a heavy role in determining its postseason fate.


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