Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Lionel Messi sits as Inter Miami loses U.S. Open Cup final, 2-1, to the Houston Dynamo

Sports / Soccer /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Thousands of pink No. 10 Lionel Messi jerseys nearly filled DRV PNK Stadium Wednesday night for the highly anticipated U.S. Open Cup final between Inter Miami and the Houston Dynamo, but the Argentine icon was not wearing one.

Messi, bothered by a nagging old injury, was not in uniform and left off the Miami roster. He...Read more

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Kevin Baxter: Spain's women's soccer team keeps fighting after misogynistic World Cup fiasco

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — Turns out winning the World Cup was the easiest thing the Spanish women's team did this summer. Dragging the country's misogynistic, neanderthal soccer federation into the 21st century has proved to be much more difficult.

Yet they might finally be on their way to making that happen after a players' boycott of the national team ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Here is the latest on Lionel Messi's status for U.S. Open Cup final Wednesday night

Sports / Soccer /

MIAMI — Despite its rich history, for more than a century the U.S. Open Cup tournament has operated in relative obscurity outside die-hard American soccer circles.

That changed when Lionel Messi joined Inter Miami, as evidenced by the international media throng that showed up Tuesday morning for team training in advance of the cup final ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

An inside look at Tata Martino's coaching style, and how he turned Inter Miami around

Sports / Soccer /

MIAMI — Jeff Larentowicz vividly recalls Tata Martino’s first few team meetings as coach of Atlanta United in early 2017 and says he knew right away the players were in capable hands.

“I was 34 years old, had been around a long time, thought I knew the players around the league well, and then Tata comes into one of his first meetings, ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Inter Miami beats Toronto FC, 4-0, as Messi leaves early, ruled out Sunday vs. Orlando

Sports / Soccer /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A new-look, clean-shaven Lionel Messi returned to the Inter Miami lineup Wednesday night for the first time in nearly three weeks, but lasted only 37 minutes before being subbed out, much earlier than the near-sellout crowd at DRV PNK Stadium expected.

Messi’s teammates carried on just fine without him, winning, 4-0,...Read more

Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Julie Ertz bids a heartfelt farewell to the USWNT and her soccer career

Sports / Soccer /

CINCINNATI — As Julie Ertz approached the final professional soccer game she’ll ever play, she had much to reflect on and be thankful for.

But before she moves all the way on to the next phase of her life, one that will be centered on her son Madden, she had a message to send to him.

“It’s not because Momma can’t play,” she said. �...Read more

Michelle Kaufman/Miami Herald/TNS

FIFA delegation kicks off World Cup 2026 host cities tour in Miami on Wednesday

Sports / Soccer /

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Most of the offices and cubicles are still empty, and there are boxes left to be unpacked, but preparations for the world’s largest sporting event have begun in FIFA’s new 60,000-square foot World Cup ’26 headquarters in the heart of downtown Coral Gables.

Step off the fourth-floor elevator at the swank office tower...Read more

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American soccer was against artificial turf long before it became a big problem in the NFL

Sports / Soccer /

PHILADELPHIA — The debate over artificial turf fields in the NFL has certainly gotten attention in American soccer circles. But across MLS and the NWSL, there’s no debate. No one likes turf, no one wants it, and there had better be a serious reason why a stadium in the league has it.

Alas, there are serious reasons. The biggest is NFL money...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Tata Martino noncommittal on return of Messi, Alba for Inter Miami vs. Toronto Wednesday

Sports / Soccer /

MIAMI — The most pressing question entering the Inter Miami home game against Toronto FC on Wednesday is whether Lionel Messi will return to the lineup after not traveling to the road match at Atlanta last Saturday.

Coach Tata Martino, who said Messi and Jordi Alba were left home from Atlanta due to “muscular fatigue,” confirmed that both...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

After nearly dying, LAFC's Ryan Hollingshead is grateful for his second chance at life

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — There are mornings Ryan Hollingshead wakes to reminders of the night he almost died.

"At times my neck and my back tighten up a little bit quicker," he said. "I can feel some muscular things and I can feel some mobility things."

Yet every painful tweak and every dull ache is proof that he's still alive, still walking, still ...Read more


Will Lionel Messi's signing result in MLS changes? Some say yes

Sports / Soccer /

ATLANTA – If MLS wants to fulfill its goal of becoming one of the world’s premier soccer leagues, the signing of Lionel Messi may lead to some player-acquisition rules changes that many past and current players have hoped to see for many years.

The players don’t think the changes are mandatory to effect what MLS wants, but eliminating a ...Read more

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Kevin Baxter: Bruce Arena's ugly exit from MLS shouldn't tarnish his immense legacy

Sports / Soccer /

Bruce Arena deserved to leave soccer on his own terms rather than be forced out before he was ready to leave. He deserved to go out with a ticker-tape parade rather than be shunted aside under a cloud of doubt and suspicion that raises more questions than answers.

That didn’t happen.

Instead Arena, the most successful men’s coach in U.S. ...Read more

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Could Lionel Messi change how MLS schedules for international breaks?

Sports / Soccer /

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota United plays on without internationally-bound Teemu Pukki, Joseph Rosales and Sang Bin Jeong Saturday against New England at Allianz Field.

It could be worse.

The Loons played Vancouver to a 1-1 home draw in March missing seven starters all called away to play for their national teams.

Major League Soccer's decision ...Read more

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It's crunch time for Messi, Inter Miami. Here is what team must do to make the playoffs.

Sports / Soccer /

MIAMI — Ticket prices for Inter Miami dipped a bit this week as Lionel Messi left for Argentina national team duty and will be unavailable for the home game Saturday against Kansas City.

He is one of nine Miami players called up by their national teams for September matches (most in MLS), eight of whom will be missing for the Kansas City game...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Kevin Baxter: How good is Lionel Messi? He may lead Inter Miami from worst to first in one season.

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — Just six weeks ago Inter Miami was the worst team in MLS. Maybe one of the worst in MLS history.

It hadn't won an MLS game in eight weeks, hadn't scored more than two goals in a game all season and the crowds it drew to its temporary stadium, which wasn't even in the same county as Miami, were among the smallest in the league.

...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Dylan Hernández: Did L.A. fans overpay to see Lionel Messi? They watched the best in his prime.

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — In the wake of a 3-1 defeat to Inter Miami on Sunday night, LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo and his players were asked about how the air was taken out of BMO Stadium after they conceded a momentum-shifting opening goal just three minutes after Denis Bouanga blew a one-on-one chance against the visiting goalkeeper.

That wasn't the ...Read more

LAFC can't capitalize on chances in loss to Lionel Messi and Inter Miami

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — The buzz began more than 30 minutes before kickoff when the best soccer player in the world led his team on to the field for warm-ups to the flash of hundreds of cellphone cameras.

The Lionel Messi Show had arrived in Los Angeles.

The anticipation continued to build during the pregame introductions, when Messi’s name was met ...Read more


Can LAFC stop Lionel Messi? Not really, because 'he's an extraterrestrial.'

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — Giorgio Chiellini greeted the question with a furrowed brow and a wide smile.

How do you stop Lionel Messi, he was asked. For Chiellini, it was as if he had been asked how to swim without getting wet.

“I tried to do it. Sometimes it works, sometimes no,” the LAFC center back said. “One thing is sure: you cannot stop him ...Read more

Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

What do tickets cost to see Lionel Messi and Inter Miami play LAFC? Try $36,000.

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — When news broke this summer that Lionel Messi was joining Inter Miami, LAFC season ticket holder Jordan Ekeroth listed his two seats for the September game on the secondary market.

Ekeroth, 32, has been a soccer fan for years and was in “disbelief” when he heard Messi would be playing Major League Soccer. But he knew he’d ...Read more

Phil Walter/Getty Images North America/TNS

Angel City and U.S. Soccer standout Julie Ertz announces her retirement

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES — Julie Ertz, a two-time world champion who played in three women's World Cups without losing a game, announced her retirement from soccer Thursday.

"Representing this country on the national team has been the greatest honor," Ertz, 31, said in a statement posted on social media. "To play for the USWNT means you chase greatness ...Read more