Written by Patrick Echatah
After coming from behind to defeat Inter Miami 5-2, Atlanta United made fun of their MLS opponents and their absence captain Lionel Messi.
Despite returning to training on Thursday and Friday after representing Argentina over the break, Messi, 36, did not fly to Atlanta this weekend. It meant that the World Cup champion did not take the field on the opponent’s synthetic turf. Tata Martino, the head coach of Inter Miami, clarified that Messi was rested because “he has muscular fatigue and it was prudent to leave him.”
Even though Inter Miami defeated Sporting Kansas City last weekend without their talisman, they did miss him a week later. Jordi Alba, a fellow summer addition, was also inactive, while Sergio Busquets played the entire game in midfield.
Former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Leonardo Campana gave the visitors an early advantage alongside the former Barcelona captain. Atlanta, though, scored three goals in only eight minutes to take a 3-1 lead into halftime.
After the break, the Ecuadorian international did manage to lessen the lead, but the hosts responded with two more goals, one each from Tyler Wolff and ex-Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis. Atlanta ruthlessly mocked Messi and Miami on social media after the final whistle.
“Tell ‘em to bring the whole squad next time,” the team’s account posted immediately after the referee blew up. Minutes later, their Spanish-language account mocked Messi, using his social media activity against him.
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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