MLS Considers Halting Matches During FIFA Dates to Retain Star Players: The ‘Messi Effect’

The Major League Soccer (MLS) is contemplating a significant change that could reshape the landscape of the league. In a recent press conference, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, the coach of Inter Miami, revealed that it is highly likely that the MLS will interrupt its competition during FIFA dates starting in 2024. This strategic move aims to prevent stars like Lionel Messi from missing crucial league matches.

According to Martino, the decision to pause the league during FIFA dates is currently under consideration for the upcoming year. The potential implementation of this change could have a profound impact on the MLS, allowing teams to retain their key players during international breaks. This move comes in response to the growing concern of losing star players, such as the Argentine maestro Lionel Messi, during crucial stages of the season.

Traditionally, the MLS has continued its regular season matches during FIFA dates, even during the upcoming September international break. As a result, Inter Miami will have to cope without their talisman Messi during a pivotal phase of their campaign, where their chances of reaching the postseason are at stake. However, Messi is expected to be available for the match against Nashville on Wednesday, as confirmed by Martino. The coach also mentioned that Messi is likely to start, having been a substitute in the previous game against the New York Red Bulls to manage his energy levels.

Martino expressed the challenges of building a team around Messi, acknowledging the need to maximize his impact on the pitch. The coach emphasized the importance of designing tactical schemes that revolve around Messi’s strengths and the understanding of other players in the team. This approach has proven successful so far, with Messi scoring eleven goals in nine matches for Inter Miami. The coach’s admiration for Messi’s contribution to the team was evident when discussing the pass that led to Benjamin Cremaschi’s goal in the recent 2-0 victory against New York. Martino praised Messi’s vision and highlighted the exceptional quality of the pass.

The potential decision to halt MLS matches during FIFA dates signifies a shift in the league’s approach towards international breaks. This change could have far-reaching implications, not only for Inter Miami but for all teams in the MLS. Retaining star players during crucial periods of the season would undoubtedly strengthen the league’s competitiveness and attract more attention from fans and sponsors alike.

The ‘Messi Effect’ has been a topic of discussion among soccer enthusiasts worldwide. The Argentine superstar’s arrival in the MLS has brought a wave of excitement and heightened interest in the league. The possibility of seeing Messi in action on a regular basis has captivated fans, and his impact on the league cannot be overstated. The MLS recognizing the need to protect the interests of its star players demonstrates the league’s commitment to fostering a competitive environment and elevating its status in the global soccer landscape.

The MLS is considering a groundbreaking decision to pause its matches during FIFA dates, potentially starting in 2024. This move aims to prevent star players like Lionel Messi from missing crucial league fixtures. The ‘Messi Effect’ has undoubtedly influenced this decision, as teams recognize the value of retaining their key players during international breaks. If implemented, this change could have a profound impact on the MLS, enhancing its competitiveness and attracting more attention from fans and sponsors. The league’s willingness to adapt and prioritize the interests of its star players demonstrates its commitment to growth and development in the ever-evolving world of soccer.


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