'Pretty sure he'll play' - Houston Dynamo boss Ben Olsen expecting Lionel Messi to return from injury in U.S. Open Cup final

Lionel Messi Inter Miami 2023Getty
  • Messi doubtful for US Open Cup final
  • Olsen considers Miami dangerous with or without Messi
  • Messi missed training on Tuesday

WHAT HAPPENED? While Lionel Messi remains a doubt for the U.S. Open Cup final, Houston Dynamo manager Ben Olsen is confident that the Argentine will take the field in the big game. He also claimed that Inter Miami are a force to be reckoned with even if the Argentina skipper does not return in time.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters ahead of the match, Olsen said, "We're pretty sure he'll play. We'll prepare for them in that way. They've got some options if that isn't the case. But we'll prepare for their best lineup unless we hear something more concrete.

"There's been thousands of coaches that have tried to stop him and thousands of coaches have failed constantly, so I don't have the magic bullet to stop Messi.

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"No one has proven that they do have that. But of course, we're all trying to do the same thing: limit his space and condense the areas. There's all these little tricks that you can do to try to limit him.

"But they've also put together a very good supporting cast around him so now you dial in too much there and there's a lot of other guys that can hurt you."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 36-year-old was absent from Miami's training session on Tuesday as his team prepared for the U.S. Open final. He sustained an injury while on international duty for La Albiceleste. Manager Tata Martino has said he will wait until the last moment to see if Messi can play.


Lionel Messi Tata Martino Inter Miami Toronto MLS 20092023Getty ImagesLionel Messi Inter Miami MLSGetty

WHAT NEXT? Gerardo Martino's side will aim to win their second title this season after the Leagues Cup triumph when they take on Houston Dynamo in the US Open Cup final on Wednesday.