Written by Patrick Echatah
Following his transfer to Charlotte FC, Ashley Westwood believes that Lionel Messi’s influence on Major League Soccer has been “incredible” and that interest in the sport in the USA is surging above and above all expectations.
In the Leagues Cup quarterfinal in August, the 33-year-old midfielder faced up against Messi’s Inter Miami, and the Argentina international scored in a 4-0 victory, one of the 11 goals in 11 games he has racked up since moving to the Sunshine State.
Along with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, Messi helped David Beckham’s team win that contest and go to the Open Cup final, highlighting the enthusiasm and fanfare that surrounded his acquisition in the summer transfer window.
Westwood told Sky Sports: “The whole thing he’s brought to the MLS has been incredible, I’ve played against some unbelievable players in the Premier League but even at his age he’s still the greatest I’ve ever faced.
“Sergio Busquets in midfield as well, he just sees things that others don’t. Without Busquets, I think Messi would find it a little bit harder but he’s got Busquets in midfield to find him with every pass.
“To play against him was a real honour but he got the best of us so hopefully we’ll do a job when he comes to us!”
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John Herdman has been officially named the new coach of MLS based club Toronto FC. Starting on October 1st, the 48-year-old will take over as Toronto FC’s next head coach in the MLS.
Herdman became the coach of Canada in January 2018 before leading the North American giants to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in 36 years.
“I’m keen to start this new opportunity with Toronto FC,” he said. “It’s the right time for a new challenge.” Toronto fired former head coach Bob Bradley in June and are currently towards the bottom of the MLS standings.
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