Fresh off the 2023 Leagues Cup title, Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF will look to take another step towards a second trophy this season as they visit FC Cincinnati in the US Open Cup semifinal round. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET from TQL Stadium with the action available to watch on CBS Sports Golazo Network as well as Paramount+.
Here’s what you need to know for the match, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
FC Cincinnati v. Inter Miami
Date: Wednesday, August 23
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV channel: CBS Sports
FC Cincinnati: +165
Inter Miami: +140
Moneyline pick: Miami +140
As I’ve said before, it’s really tough to bet against Messi’s side right now after watching how dominant they were in their run to the Leagues Cup title. Messi notched 10 goals through those seven matches as MLS and Liga MX defenses tried to figure out how to contain the veteran. Having Messi on the field has also elevated the play of the players around him, with Robert Taylor notching four goals in the tournament and Josef Martinez putting in three. Even youngsters Benjamin Cremaschi and David Ruiz found themselves on the score sheet on the way to bringing home Inter Miami’s first-ever trophy.
It certainly won’t be a walk in the park for the pink-and-black, as they’ll be going up against the top team in MLS play as FC Cincinnati have the best record in the league. They sit with 51 points in MLS, a full seven points ahead of St. Louis in the Supporters’ Shield race with just 10 matches left to go. In their first MLS match since the Leagues Cup came to an end, Cincy dropped a 3-0 result against in-state rivals Columbus Crew as they got started back up on the wrong foot.
If Miami win, they’ll host the final as long as Houston beats Real Salt Lake in the other semifinal match. However, if RSL tops the Dynamo, then the winner of this match will travel to Salt Lake to play the final.
I’m backing Miami to get the win over Cincy as Tata Martino’s side will be pushing for another trophy after their impressive Leagues Cup run. Nobody has truly figured out a way to stop Miami’s attack since Messi’s arrival, and I’d expect more of the same at TQL Stadium.