[ MORE: Watch replay on Peacock en Espanol ]
Messi, 36, came off injured in Miami’s 4-0 win against Toronto last week and did not recovered to feature in the matchday squad for Inter Miami as he watched on from the sidelines at DVR PNK Stadium with his family.
Josef Martinez pulled one back for Inter Miami in the 92nd minute but it was nothing more than a consolation as the Houston players and staff went wild at the final whistle. It was their second-ever U.S. Open Cup trophy and their first major trophy since winning the same trophy in 2018.
After winning the Leagues Cup trophy, Miami will be disappointed to not add a second major trophy in the last two months but it is clear they're making strides forward as a team. With or without Messi.
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When will Lionel Messi be fit to play again?
Gerardo 'Tata' Martino was asked extensively about Messi before and after the final and the latest update suggests Messi's season isn't over.
"It wasn’t prudent for him to play, that much is clear," Tata said.. "Not even to consider him for some minutes, because it was a risk."
“Yes, he’ll likely play before the league ends,” Martino added. " We’ll go game-by-game, defining the situation to see in what moment the medical staff tells us he’s in conditions to play without risking it."
Miami now have five more regular season games remaining as they push hard to finish in the playoffs. But it is clear that if there's any risk to Messi's fitness, he will not play.
Glory for Houston and Ben Olsen
As for Houston, they have been surging in recent weeks and Mexico star Hector Herrera leads their charge as the Dynamo are without a defeat in eight games and have now won the Open Cup for the second time in club history.
They sit in fourth place in the Western Conference and given this confidence boost, Houston will be a team to watch in the MLS Cup playoffs as Ben Olsen (who won his second U.S. Open Cup as a coach to overtake the one he won as a player) has done an exceptional coaching job.
Houston not only gets the glory of lifting the trophy but also earns $300,000 in prize money and a place in the CONCACAF Champions Cup for 2024.
The most historic trophy in American Soccer. Houston Dynamo lift the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. pic.twitter.com/m7221fZkkE
— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) September 28, 2023
Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo: How to watch U.S. Open Cup final live, stream link, start time
Date: Wednesday, September 27
Time: 8:30pm ET
How to watch: Telemundo, NBC Universo
Stream link: Watch full replay on Peacock Premium en Espanol