The match was Messi’s first MLS game since entering the U.S. Messi previously played in the U.S. in the Riggs Cup (7 games) and the U.S. Open Cup (1 game). In the previous eight games, Messi scored 10 goals and 3 assists. Miami won its first League Cup title.
Messi did not start in his MLS debut. Miami went in as a substitute for Leandro Campana in the 15th minute of the second half when they were leading 1-0. Messi scored an additional goal in the 44th minute of the second half. On the right side, Messi lightly put in a low cross from Benjamin Kremash.
The game was broadcast live on a large electronic display in Times Square in the middle of New York. A large crowd gathered in Times Square to watch Messi’s MLS debut vividly. Many of them were wearing Messi’s Miami uniform.
MLS’ official social media account filmed fans watching Messi’s score at Times Square and wrote, “The crowd in Times Square witnessed Messi’s magic.” This shows that soccer’s popularity in the U.S. has soared.
The opposing team, the New York Red Bulls, set a new record for the most spectators. At Red Bull Arena, 26,276 people entered and watched the New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami games. Red Bull Arena is a football stadium with a capacity of 25,000. In the past, Wayne Rooney and Thierry Henry played here for a while.