“Inter Miami CF: Messi and Callender Shine, Earn Valuable Road Point against LA Galaxy”

Inter Miami

Inter Miami CF earned a 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy in their first road game of the 2024 MLS regular season. At Dignity Health Sports Park, where the game was played, goalie Drake Calendar displayed exceptional skill, and both captain Lionel Messi and defender Jordi Alba recorded their first goals and assists of the year.

Lineups Inter Miami

Inter Miami replicated their starting XI from the midweek victory against Real Salt Lake to kick off their 2024 home opener. Calendar started with a goal; Dendre Yedlin, Thomas Evils, Sergei Krivatsov, and Alba formed the back four; Julian Gressel, Sergio Busquets, and Diego Gomez anchored the midfield; Messi and Taylor initiated the attack alongside striker Luis Suarez.

Match Action

In the first half, Calendar displayed brilliance between the sticks, denying the home team several scoring opportunities. Particularly, he saved midfielder Ricky Puig’s penalty attempt in the 13th minute.

Calendar once again thwarted Puig’s efforts in the 29th minute, diving to his upper left corner to block a shot.

Despite efforts from both teams in the first 45 minutes, the match remained scoreless at halftime.

In the second half, the hosts finally broke the deadlock in the 75th minute with a goal from forward Dejan Jovetic, but there was more drama to unfold. After several dangerous attempts in the second half, Messi succeeded in equalizing with a late goal in extra time.

The Argentine intercepted a pass and found Alba just outside the box, who then delivered a sublime cross from the left, allowing Messi to slot the ball past the goalkeeper with his left foot. This was both Messi’s first goal and Alba’s first assist of the 2024 regular season.

The scoreline remained unchanged in the remaining minutes of extra time, ending the match in a 1-1 draw and earning Inter Miami CF a point in their inaugural trip to Dignity Health Sports Park.

Head Coach Reaction

Post-Match Reaction: “I think we played better in the second half, we had chances, our opponents turned things around, but we maintained the desire to keep searching, and we reached a good tie with Leo’s talent,” Head Coach Inter Miami Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino commented.

Goalkeeper and Defense

Drake Calendar (9/10):

Clearly the Man of the Match for Miami. Absolutely stellar in goal, making crucial stops besides denying Puig from the penalty spot.

Jordi Alba (8/10):

Did his job on the left before equalizing for Messi. A connection we’ve seen thousands of times, and one that saved Miami on Sunday night on a grand scale.

Thomas Evils (6/10):

Did his defensive job and moved the ball well. He was stronger than the opener.

Sergei Krivatsov (6/10):

Lacked pace at times, but mostly kept his grip. However, could have been a bit more alert to the goal.

Dendre Yedlin (6/10):

Couldn’t quite push forward and had a poor foul in the second half. Overall, nothing exceptional.

Also Read : “Inter Miami CF Clinches 2-0 Victory Against Real Salt Lake in 2024 MLS Home Opener: A Stellar Start to the Season”


Julian Gressel (4/10):

Yet to see himself this season. The pressure will only mount on a player who can help this Miami team, even if he hasn’t done so yet.

Sergio Busquets (4/10):

Didn’t look like the player we’ve all seen for so long. Accepted the penalty and seemed a bit sluggish physically and mentally throughout the game.

Diego Gomez (6/10):

Best of the midfield trio by far, but that’s not saying much. Actually played well compared to those around him.


Robert Taylor (5/10):

Only had 25 touches before being taken out 22 minutes into the second half, never really involved in the game.

Luis Suarez (4/10):

It was almost as if playing with someone after a cross-country trip wasn’t a good idea with Suarez’s knees. Looked completely off pace before being kindly removed.

Lionel Messi (8/10):

It had to be him, didn’t it? Despite relatively quiet throughout the game, Messi came through late with a goal, securing Miami an expected undeserved point for the season.

Up Next

Next Match: Inter Miami will return to South Florida for their next match, hosting Orlando City SC at the Chess Stadium on Saturday, March 2nd, at 4:30 PM ET.


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