Inter Miami vs Orlando City live score, updates, highlights as ref changed for Lionel Messi rivalry MLS game

Despite plenty of difficulties, Inter Miami escaped their first two MLS matches with four points. Now, they host in-state rivals Orlando City on Saturday in Ft. Lauderdale.

Lionel Messi rescued the club out in Los Angeles last week, snatching a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on a 92nd-minute equalizer after the hosts had a player controversially sent off moments prior.

However, Inter Miami displayed significant weaknesses throughout the 90 minutes, and like in their opener against Real Salt Lake, they would have suffered a worse fate had the opponent not wasted a considerable amount of chances on goal.

Here, they welcome a prolific attacking side to Chase Stadium. While Orlando City were blanked in a scoreless draw with CF Montreal in their league opener last weekend, they collected six goals on Canadian club Cavalry FC across two legs of CONCACAF Champions Cup play in recent matches.

The Sporting News is following the Inter Miami vs Orlando City match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

Inter Miami vs Orlando City live score

  Score Goal scorers
Inter Miami
Orlando City

Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT
Location: Chase Stadium (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Referee: Jamie Herrera

Starting lineups (predicted):

Inter Miami (4-3-3, right to left): Callender (GK) — Yedlin, Kryvtsov, Aviles, Alba — Gressel, Busquets, Gomez — Messi, Suarez, Taylor.

Orlando City (4-2-3-1, right to left): Gallese (GK) — Thorhallsson, Brekalo, Jansson, R. Santos — C. Araujo, Cartagena — Angulo, Lodeiro, F. Torres — McGuire.

Inter Miami vs Orlando City live updates, highlights, commentary

1 hour 45 mins to kick: There has been a controversy with the officiating crew assigned to tonight’s match. PRO, the organization who employs MLS referees, has made a change to the lead official after a photo surfaced on social media of the initially appointed head referee Guilherme Ceretta wearing a Lionel Messi Inter Miami kit. Due to “a potential conflict” acknowledged by PRO in a statement to The Athletic, the change to Jamie Herrera was made.

It’s yet another embarrassing turn in the truly damaging saga of the MLS referee lockout, as the replacement officials continue to look unfit for duty. Last weekend’s Inter Miami game was marred by the dubious late red card to Galaxy midfielder Mark Delgado, which swung the match in Inter Miami’s favor late and in part led to Messi’s 92nd-minute equalizer. The yellow card was overturned on appeal, meaning Delgado will not be suspended.

2 hours to kickoff: Last season, Lionel Messi was largely praised by the Inter Miami squad for how relatable and down-to-earth he was, painting himself as just one of the guys. This season, as he looks to manage his own workload as well as that of his fellow former Barcelona gang, it appears he is doing more individual work at training, at least at times that are open to the media.

Inter Miami vs Orlando City lineups, team news

All season long, the availability of both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will be a constant discussion point. Messi struggled with muscle tweaks at the end of last season and in last month’s preseason tour, so rest will be required at some point, but he should be set for this home match. Suarez, meanwhile, has a chronic knee problem that will also see him sat at various stages of the season.

Diego Gomez came off in the 84th minute of the last match and looked to be in pain, but Tata Martino said he was simply suffering from cramps. Benjamin Cremaschi is out through at least the end of April with a hernia, while Facundo Farias has been ruled out for the season with an ACL tear.

New signing Nicolas Freire will likely push for a starting center-back spot at some point, but he is recovering from a knee injury he carried from before his winter transfer, and as such, Serhiy Kryvtsov has been the starter alongside Tomas Aviles. Freire was available off the bench against the LA Galaxy last weekend but did not appear.

Inter Miami projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Callender (GK) — Yedlin, Kryvtsov, Aviles, Alba — Gressel, Busquets, Gomez — Messi, Suarez, Taylor.

Inter Miami bench (9): Lineups are confirmed one hour before kickoff

Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja rested a number of his regulars in the midweek CONCACAF Champions Cup win over Cavalry, and thus the likes of Facundo TorresDuncan McGuire, and Nicolas Lodeiro should be set to go for this weekend’s league match.

There are no injury concerns for Orlando City at the moment. Maguire remains the starting striker following his dramatic failed transfer to English club Blackburn Rovers, likely to make that move in the summer but for now remaining the key man ahead of new signing Luis Muriel who got the nod midweek.

Orlando City projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Gallese (GK) — Thorhallsson, Brekalo, Jansson, R. Santos — C. Araujo, Cartagena — Angulo, Lodeiro, F. Torres — McGuire.

Orlando City bench (9): Lineups are confirmed one hour before kickoff

How to watch Inter Miami vs Orlando City

  • Date: Saturday, March 2, 2024
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT
  • Streaming (Global): MLS Season Pass from Apple TV
  • TV channel (USA): FOX (English), FOX Deportes (Spanish)
  • Streaming (USA): Fubo, FOX Sports app/website

Every single match of the 2024 MLS regular season, playoffs, and Leagues Cup can all be found across the globe exclusively on MLS Season Pass from Apple TV.

Learn how to sign up here and catch every game all year long

This Inter Miami vs. Orlando City match is part of this weekend’s selection of games available for free on MLS Season Pass, for anyone to view without needing a subscription. Apple TV makes up to six matches each week available for free, while the rest require an MLS Season Pass subscription to access.

Additionally, this match has been selected for television broadcast in the United States on FOX, with a Spanish-language broadcast also available via FOX Deportes. Both channels are available to stream in the U.S. on Fubo.

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