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 Inter Miami CF

Lionel Messi Voted MLS Player of the Matchday for Matchday 9

April 15, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Inter Miami CF News Release

Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi was voted the Major League Soccer Player (MLS) of the Matchday for Matchday 9 of the 2024 MLS season.

Messi has secured MLS Player of the Matchday honors for the first time in his MLS career. This achievement also marks Inter Miami CF's third Player of the Matchday honor this season, making it the only team in MLS with more than one honoree in 2024, with Luis Suárez (Matchday 3 and 5) earning the other two.

The Argentine maestro has joined Thierry Henry (11 in 2012), Landon Donovan (10 in 2008), and Raúl Díaz Arce (10 in 1997) as the only players with at least 10 goal contributions in their first five games to begin a season. The Argentine's 10 goal contributions are currently tied with Real Salt Lake's Cristian Arango for the most in MLS. Since Messi joined Miami in 2023, the Herons are now 5-0-2 in MLS games that he has produced a goal or an assist.

In Miami's 2-3 road triumph against Sporting Kansas City, Messi contributed with a goal and an assist, amidst an astonishing attendance of 72,610 at GEHA Field in Arrowhead Stadium. His goal and assist in the victory marked a historic milestone, making Messi the first player in MLS history to amass at least five goals and five assists in the initial five games of a season.

Messi's outstanding performance on the field also secured his spot in the starting XI of the Team of the Matchday for the fourth time this season, highlighting his invaluable contributions to the team.

His impact most notably began in the 18th minute when Messi delivered a perfectly threaded pass with his left foot, setting up a goal for teammate Diego Gómez, who expertly slotted the equalizer home. Not content with just one assist, Messi continued to dazzle in the 51st minute, receiving a pass from David Ruiz and unleashing an unstoppable strike from his left foot, securing the team's second goal of the match and giving Inter Miami's the lead.

The magician's unstoppable performance secured his fifth goal in the regular season and his seventh across all competitions in 2024, achieved in just eight total appearances.

The MLS Player of the Matchday is selected each matchday of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while an X (formerly known as Twitter) fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.

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