Messi ready with Sporting KC set to break attendance record

Inter Miami CF assistant coach Javier Morales expects Lionel Messi to feature against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday in front of an expected record-breaking crowd of 70,000 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Argentine forward played the entirety of the second leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal series against CF Monterrey on Wednesday, completing the 90 minutes of a match for the first time since March 7.

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Despite his participation, Miami was eliminated when falling 3-1 (5-2 on aggregate) at the BBVA Stadium.

“Messi will be available for tomorrow’s game,” Morales said at a media availability Friday. “We will have to see how he feels today, if he is fine he will be ready to play.

“Messi finished the game in Monterrey without any discomfort. I estimate that he will want to play.”

The team will now turn their attention to league action, beginning with Saturday’s clash. Miami currently sits in third on the Eastern Conference table with 12 points from eight games and a 3W-2L-3D record.

A massive turnout is expected by Sporting KC at Kansas City Chiefs‘ stadium, which holds a capacity of 76,416, with few tickets still available.

Saturday’s attendance is set to break Sporting KC’s current attendance record of 52,424 fans, which was set during a friendly between the MLS team and Manchester United at Arrowhead in 2010.

Sporting KC regularly plays its home matches at the 18,500-capacity Children’s Mercy Park.

The inaugural meeting between Sporting KC and Miami took place on Sept. 9, 2023, where Miami earned the 3-2 victory with goals from Leonardo Campana and Facundo Farías. This is only the second meeting between the two clubs from opposing conferences.

“The urgency is always to want to win. We want to go for every game,” added Morales.