Inter Miami is adding to its preseason schedule, but there are rumors that it could face different opponents, which include River Plate. On Thursday afternoon, rumors emerged that the MLS side will play one of the biggest teams in South America in late January. Rather than playing in south Florida, the two will meet in Dallas at AT&T Stadium. The home of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL is no stranger to hosting soccer games. It is in the running to host the 2026 World Cup Final.

However, just after that news broke, Inter Miami revealed plans to play El Salvador in a preseason friendly. Inter Miami will travel to San Salvador to play against the Salvadorian National Team in Estadio Cuscatlan. That game is scheduled for Jan. 19, a Friday.

That causes a major rift with the aforementioned game against River Plate which looked set for Jan 20. Moreover, that game against River Plate would be in Dallas, which is some distance from El Salvador.

Inter Miami affirmed that the game against El Salvador on Jan. 19 is the side’s first preseason game ahead of the 2024 MLS season. That campaign begins in late February, or early March based on the beginning of the American top flight in recent editions.

“We’re excited to start announcing our preseason plans and preparations ahead of a thrilling 2024 campaign,” Inter Miami Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson said.

Both games would happen well before the season, and Inter Miami is not new to international friendlies. This past season, which was before the arrival of Messi, Inter Miami welcomed Vasco da Gama from Brazil for a friendly. Ahead of the 2024 campaign, Inter Miami is in talks with sides in Asia to play there. A previous trip to Japan already fell through because of organizational issues.

Conflicting schedules for Inter Miami to play River Plate

Inter Miami playing River Plate would be the second game in the Argentine side’s trip to the United States. According to the report regarding River Plate, the Argentine club lined up a game against Chivas de Guadalajara three days before its Inter Miami contest. The Liga MX side has a massive following in the United States, which would draw in fans to the 80,000-seat stadium.

The more-anticipated game against Inter Miami now seems in doubt, though. With Inter Miami making the announcement, that game is assured of happening, unless the game falls through like those in Japan did. So, does this completely strike the game against River Plate?

Not exactly. There is a chance that Inter Miami could send different squads to play El Salvador and River Plate. Lionel Messi would only be able to play in one of those games. Undoubtedly, the Argentine is the reason clubs and national teams want to play Inter Miami in friendlies. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner is the main draw for Inter Miami.

Messi has played against River Plate once before, and that was in the 2015 Club World Cup Final.
Messi has played against River Plate once before, and that was in the 2015 Club World Cup Final.

Messi has played against River Plate once before, and that was in the 2015 Club World Cup Final.

Inter Miami star may play against Argentine opposition

Messi has played against Argentine opposition three times in his career. Each of those, unsurprisingly, came during his long spell at Barcelona. That included a matchup against River Plate. Rather than a friendly, that was in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup Final. Barcelona won the competition en route to the sextuple of trophies. Messi scored in that game against River Plate.