Estadio Cuscatlán, El Salvador – Inter Miami kicked off its first-ever international tour Friday night with a scoreless draw versus El Salvador. Miami, led by its “Fantastic Four”, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, and Jordi Alba could not muster a goal against a young inexperienced El Salvador squad. To make matters worse, Facundo Farias suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the match.
Not All Bad News
It wasn’t all bad news for Inter Miami in El Salvador as the team received much fanfare and love from the home fans.
🤯🔥 ¡TREMENDO RECIBIMIENTO A LEO MESSI EN EL SALVADOR! En horas de la madrugada llegó el Inter Miami a su hotel de concentración y los aficionados esperaron con camisetas, letreros, pinturas, tatuajes y más con la esperanza de ver al argentino. pic.twitter.com/BC7l0zDtn8
— Diario Diez (@DiarioDiezHn) January 19, 2024
The Herons began the match with an unconventional backline of three center-backs: Noah Allen, Tomas Aviles, and Deandre Yedlin. New acquisition Julian Gressel, along with Jordi Alba played out wide as wingbacks. Many thought Gressel was coming in to take Yedlin’s spot at right back, but instead, Tata Martino played them together. The Gressel, Yedlin combination looked good and it gives the team options and flexibility on the right side.
— Xavier Guerrero (@XGLAVOZ) January 20, 2024
Messi and the rest of the fantastics’ played the first 45 minutes of the match and had some good moments, and more importantly, left the pitch uninjured. Messi deserves a special mention because he looked fit and focused against El Salvador.
¡Se conectó el cuarteto de @InterMiamiCF!
Alba, Suárez, Messi y Busquets con una jugada de ensueño que casi abre la cuenta para la visita 😮💨
— MLS Español (@MLSes) January 20, 2024
Miami Moves On
It was just the beginning of Inter’s long preseason tour, so don’t take the 0-0 tie too hard. There’s time for the team to start jelling and play better together. The young guys that came in as subs performed well and showed that they can be counted on. Particularly, I was pleased with CJ Dos Santos and his performance filling in for Drake Callender in goal. Now Inter Miami moves on to the second match of the tour versus FC Dallas in Texas. Hopefully, the squad can make it out of Texas without any more injuries.