Messi sets 2 more MLS records in 6-2 Miami win

Lionel Messi set the Major League Soccer record for most goal contributions and assists in a single match during Inter Miami CF’s triumphant 6-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Messi’s six goal contributions and five assists in a game set MLS records. He has now scored and assisted in six consecutive league matches.

“All [goals] were fundamental to the game, but Leo did something historic tonight with five assists and one goal,” Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said.

“But I can’t forget Suarez’s three goals and Rojas’ two goals. The first, well both, but the first Rojas goal was amazing. But because of the technical aspect of Leo on the assist I will choose Luis Suárez’s scissor goal as my favorite.”

Suárez had three goals and Matías Rojas scored twice as Inter Miami got six unanswered goals to come back from a 1-0 deficit at halftime.

Messi and Suárez now have a league-leading 10 goals each, and the Argentina star also leads MLS in assists with 12.

“It’s easier with Leo. Obviously we know each other, and sometimes you’ll notice we know where the other is and do movements without having to look at one another. It’s good for the team,” Suárez said.

Martino and Messi boast a long history together, coinciding at Barcelona and playing against each other while the Herons coach led the national teams of Paraguay and Mexico. Even with years of experience watching Messi, Martino maintains the forward’s performance against the Red Bulls will be difficult to witness again.

“Messi had exceptional games in Barcelona, during my time with him,” he said. “But I also remember a semifinal with Paraguay in the Copa America in Chile, where he didn’t score a goal and he was still the best player on the field. In Barcelona, he had a game against Valencia where we were losing 2-0 and then won 3-2 with three goals from him. And there was another against Sevilla where we were losing 1-0 and then he scored three goals and we won 4-1. I always say this, and it’s redundant at this point, but he always does something new. To have involvement in all six goals of a team’s 6-2 is something that will be difficult to see again.”

Messi has quickly become an integral part of Inter Miami’s success. Since he debuted with the Herons in July 2023, Inter Miami is 2-4-6 (WDL) when he does not play and 15-7-3 when he is on the pitch across all competitions.

“He’s not the key component just because of this game. He always is. Today, the association between Messi and Luis in the second half worked well, like old times. When they find each other, the team is able to back them up in the game, and when we find space, they are very influential in the game,” Martino added.

Miami continues to lead the Eastern Conference table with 24 points in 12 games.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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