Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami CF will play for their second trophy since the 36-year-old’s arrival as they take on the Houston Dynamo in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. Kickoff for Wednesday’s contest is set for 8:30 p.m. ET from DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Here’s what you need to know for the match, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Inter Miami v. Houston Dynamo
Date: Wednesday, September 27
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: CBS Sports
Inter Miami: -110
Houston Dynamo: +255
Moneyline pick: Inter Miami -110
Unlike years past, there isn’t a CONCACAF Champions Cup berth on the line in the U.S. Open Cup final. Miami already secured their spot in the 2024 edition of the tournament after taking home the Leagues Cup title, while the Houston Dynamo have qualified for being an Open Cup finalist. Still, there’s a trophy on the line and both teams will be eager to take it home.
Miami, after bringing home their first-ever hardware in the 2023 Leagues Cup, will look to double their total as they host this year’s Open Cup final. The big question that surrounds Wednesday’s matchup is if Messi will see any time on the field. Tata Martino pulled both he and Jordi Alba out of their match against Toronto last week in the first half, and neither player saw the field in the 1-1 draw with Orlando on Sunday. Martino has stated the superstars are day-to-day, so we may not know if Messi’s available until much closer to kickoff time.
Dynamo are looking to lift their second USOC trophy in six years, after taking home their first title in 2018 with a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union. Ben Olsen’s side is flying high, losing just once in their last eight matches across all competitions as they sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with just a handful of matches left in MLS play.
If Messi and Alba are on the field, which I suspect they likely will be in some capacity after Martino has been putting focus on this final match, I think Miami will snag the win at home. We’ve seen the good and the bad for the Herons without Messi on the field, as they steamrolled Toronto 4-0 last week with all four goals coming after Messi left the game. We also saw Miami drop a disastrous 5-2 result against Atlanta without No. 10 in the lineup, as well as the 1-1 draw with rivals Orlando last Sunday.
Take Miami to lift their second-ever trophy at home on Wednesday night, but keep an eye on the injury status of their big three (with Sergio Busquets counting as the third), because Dynamo would love to play spoiler for Martino’s side and will look for any vulnerability they can find to seal the win.