The Herons aim to bounce back from their U.S. Open Cup final defeat but will face the Pigeons, who are also fighting for their lives to make the playoffs.

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Inter Miami return to action in the MLS this weekend following their U.S. Open Cup heartbreak, with Tata Martino's men hosting New York City FC on Saturday. The DRV PNK Stadium will be the venue for this showdown as the home side continue their race against the clock to make the playoffs.

This will be the first game for the Herons since their midweek defeat against Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup final. After winning the Leagues Cup title a few games into Lionel Messi's debut, Martino aimed to add a second piece of silverware to the club's trophy cabinet.

However, the Argentine icon was not fit for Wednesday's final, and in his absence, Inter Miami could not muster a win, losing 2-1 instead. Josef Martinez scored what turned out to be only a consolation goal, and while that stoppage-time effort might have given Inter Miami hope of pulling off a comeback, the Herons walked away empty-handed despite playing at their home stadium.

The 2023 Leagues Cup champions have the home advantage this weekend too, but time is running out on their race to make the playoffs. The Florida side have five games left in the regular season and are five points adrift of the playoff spots. 

However, Inter Miami have a game or two in hand over most of their rivals. Martino's men, who have failed to win four out of their last seven games, must now learn to deliver the required results in the absence of Lionel Messi as his availability for the rest of the season remains under doubt.

Interestingly, one of the two Eastern Conference teams occupying the final series playoff spot is New York City FC. The visitors are ninth in the table and are only five points ahead of the hosts despite having played two more games than Inter Miami. 

As a result, this game is not only vital for the Herons as the Pigeons cannot afford a defeat if they are to make the playoffs. Fortunately, form favors the 2021 MLS Cup champions, who, up until a few weeks ago, appeared out of the race to make the next round.

Nick Cushing's side have won their last two games convincingly and are unbeaten in their last five fixtures, which were enough to see them move past DC United temporarily in the standings. However, the visitors have only three games left in the regular season, two of which are away from home, which is concerning.

This season, New York City FC have struggled when playing away from their Yankee Stadium. Furthermore, those two away games are clashes with teams with whom they are in direct competition for a spot in the playoffs, the other tie being a visit to DC United. Only time will tell if the Pigeons will weather this storm.

Team news

Inter Miami: As mentioned earlier, Lionel Messi remains a doubt while Jordi Alba is more certain to miss this fixture. DeAndre Yedlin is suspended for this tie, Gregore continues his recovery from his Lisfranc injury, while Corentin Jean, Ian Fray, and Franco Negri all remain sidelined.

New York City: Maxi Moralez is out for the rest of the season after sadly suffering an ACL injury. Meanwhile, Keaton Parks is a doubt due to an ankle issue.

Key stats

  • This will be the ninth encounter between these two teams.

  • The head-to-head record heavily favors the visitors, with New York City winning all but one of their previous eight encounters.

  • Inter Miami have won only once against the Pigeons but that sole victory came in their last DRV PNK Stadium showdown, triumphing 3-2.

  • The visitors enter this clash having kept clean sheets in their last three consecutive matches.

  • However. New York City have won only one game away from home throughout the entire 2023 MLS regular season.

  • Since winning the Leagues Cup final and qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup final in back-to-back games in late August, the Herons have won only four out of eight matches.

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Inter Miami 1 - 1 New York City

September 30, 2023 7:30pmDRV PNK Stadium (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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