Inter Miami’s hopes of qualifying for the Major League Soccer playoffs look extremely bleak. After all, the club has the second-worst record in the entire league and the fewest points in the Eastern Conference. Miami is currently nine points away from Montreal for the final wild-card spot in the standings. While the team is way behind in the playoff race, there is another way for them to collect a trophy.

Miami is currently a semifinalist for the U.S. Open Cup. Despite their league struggles, the club has navigated its way through the knockout competition to the final four. Inter has advanced through the competition after beating USL Championship sides Miami FC, the Charleston Battery and the Birmingham Legion, as well as fellow top-flight team Nashville. The Floridian club is now adding some series talent to their squad ahead of a semifinal matchup with Cincinnati.

Busquets, Alba reuniting with Messi in Miami

Lionel Messi grabbed headlines when he chose Inter Miami over a more lucrative deal with Saudi Arabia side Al-Hilal. The Argentine superstar will undoubtedly be the most impressive player to ever play Stateside in MLS. Despite being in the autumn of his career, Messi still racked up impressive numbers last season with Paris Saint-Germain. The playmaker picked up 41 combined goals and assists in the same amount of total matches.

Along with Messi, Sergio Busquets has also joined his former teammate on South Beach. Much like Messi, the defensive midfielder rejected a massive Saudi offer to join Miami as well. The duo previously spent 13 seasons together at Barcelona before Messi departed for Paris. Busquets, however, will not be the only former teammate to be reunited with the Argentina international Stateside.

Jordi Alba is also nearing a deal to join Miami as well. The defender departs Barca after 11 seasons with the Catalan club. To help make room for Alba, Miami is reportedly set to trade Rodolfo Pizarro to LA Galaxy. The former Barca trio collected five LaLiga titles together in Spain.

Inter Miami has ample time before US Open Cup semis

Messi and company should have plenty of time to prepare for an Inter Miami US Open Cup match. The semifinal stage of the tournament does not take place until August 23rd. All three players should be in full swing ahead of the matchup with Cincinnati. The winner of this fixture will go on to face either Houston or Real Salt Lake for the trophy. Although this trophy can’t compare to a La Liga or a Champions League, an Inter Miami US Open win would mean the world to the franchise.

PHOTO: IMAGO & Icon Sportswire

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