The Lionel Messi Express (+100) makes a stop on Telemundo and Peacock Wednesday Night against MLS power FC Cincinnati (+200) in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup at 7P Eastern at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.
This is must see TV. Led by Brandon Vasquez and Luciano Acosta, Cincinnati has been the class of the MLS this season while Miami is not only no longer the doormat of the MLS, they are road favorites against Cincy. Fresh off their victory in the Leagues Cup, Messi and his band of brothers are hungry to remain unbeaten under the GOAT’s stewardship.
Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper) summed up the Messi effect quite succinctly earlier this week.
“It's been cool. It's appointment television. Inter Miami now is in the lifestyle of every sports fan in the United States because he's putting on such a show.”
Messi has overdelivered in terms of the effect he has had on soccer in the States. Wayne Gretzky’s arrival in Edmonton is an apt comparison in terms of the extreme skill being brought to the league but Gretzky was not yet a global brand. Messi is without question a global icon.
Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) has had fun watching the market trying to adjust to the Messi effect since the icon’s arrival.
“Just everyone trying to get a handle on exactly what impact Messi was going to have on Inter Miami on what before his signing was effectively the worst team in the league. Then by the end of the League's Cup run they're closing favorite away to Philadelphia who are a top two team in MLS by markets typically.”
As Dinsick mentioned, Wednesday Night is appointment TV as Inter Miami takes on FC Cincinnati on Telemundo and Peacock beginning at 7P Eastern.
Enjoy the game. Enjoy the sweat. Enjoy Messi.