[Live@STREAM]**Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami Live Free Channel On 15 August 2023
Where to watch Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami live stream, TV channel, lineups, odds for Leagues Cup semifinal. Lionel Messi's eight goals have his new club Inter Miami, sitting bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference prior to his arrival, now on the precipice of the Leagues Cup final as they take on the Philadelphia Union in the semifinals.
This match will be a true test of Inter Miami's new strength, as the Union represent by far the biggest test for Messi since he's arrived in the United States.
Thus far, having downed Cruz Azul, Atlanta United, Orlando City, FC Dallas, and Charlotte FC, Inter Miami have mightily impressed in relation to how they performed before Messi's arrival, but they have not yet collected a top-tier scalp.
Philadelphia would represent exactly that, sitting third in the Eastern Conference a year removed from their finish atop the Eastern Conference followed by an appearance in the MLS Cup final. These 90 minutes will prove a true test for Inter Miami, who not only look for Leagues Cup glory, but will then attempt a mountainous playoff push through the rest of the MLS schedule.
Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami live stream, TV channel
The match from Subaru Park will kick off at 7 p.m. local time in Philadelphia in front of what is expected to be yet another sold-out crowd to watch Lionel Messi in action.
What time does Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami kick off?
This Leagues Cup semifinal from Subaru Park kicks off on Tuesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. local time in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami lineups, team news
Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin remains one of the most tactically flexible head coaches in MLS, and that begs questions of him for this match. While he's played with three center-backs through much of the Leagues Cup, it's possible he changes that to a traditional back-four to tackle this new-look Inter Miami team.
If he does make that change, one of the defenders could drop out for a midfielder, possibly captain Alejandro Bedoya who has returned to training after a quad strain and will be "a participant" in this match, according to Curtin, although asking him to start after months out is a tall order.
Injury wise, there's two main issues for the Union, both in the attack. Key forward Daniel Gazdag missed the quarterfinal win over Queretaro with a knee sprain, but Curtain said he thinks Gazdag will be available. More concerning is the status of former Inter Miami striker Julian Carranza, who "felt something" in his hamstring and is likely out while tests are carried out. Mikael Uhre or new summer signing Tai Baribo could step in to replace the 23-year-old.
Philadelphia Union projected starting lineup (3-5-2): Blake (GK) — Glesnes, Elliott, Lowe — Mbaizo, Bueno, J. Martinez, McGlynn, Wagner — Uhre, Gazdag.
Inter Miami have integrated all three of their new superstars Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba into the starting lineup, and those three will be regularly deployed from here on out, with the exception likely only made for load management. In a knockout competition, there's no way manager Gerardo Martino would look to sit any of them, and the Argentine has generally been averse to sweeping changes since joining the club.
"Tata" has, however, been eyeing one position for constant evaluation, being the striker spot. Josef Martinez hasn't been overwhelmingly impressive, and Leonardo Campana could possibly earn a spot start if the boss believes his assist on Messi's 86th minute goal last time out is enough to convince.
The only injury absentees for Inter Miami are long-term absentees Gregore, Jean Mota, Corentin Jean, Franco Negri, and Ian Fray. Gregore could possibly return from his foot injury soon, but he will need to be built up to full match fitness.
Inter Miami projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Callender (GK) — Yedlin, Kryvtsov, Miller, Alba — Arroyo, Busquets, Cremaschi — Messi, J. Martinez, Taylor.
Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami betting odds, lines
Inter Miami are the favorites in this match once again, as they have been since Lionel Messi joined, but the margin is thinner here than it has been to date.
The Philadelphia Union, as an established MLS power at home, are given a clear chance to hand Messi and company their first defeat since the Argentine star joined the club. Goals are expected, as the total is pushed to 3.5 given Messi's influence on the side — Inter Miami have scored 17 goals in Messi's five matches since joining.
Inter Miami are only two matches from either a Concacaf Champions Cup berth or their first trophy in club history but they'll have to go through the Philadelphia Union for a place in the Leagues Cup final. The Union are one of the most successful clubs in Major League Soccer as of late, fresh off of participating in MLS Cup last season, but no team has proven that they can stop Lionel Messi who has powered Miami to this point in the tournament with eight goals and one assist. The top three teams in the competition, which included the winner of the third-place game, qualify for CCC.
With one of the best defenses in the league with 26 goals allowed across 23 matches, the Union are a team uniquely placed to try and stop Messi while also taking advantage of Miami's defensive issues. While the Herons kept their second clean sheet of Leagues Cup in their 4-0 victory over Charlotte FC in the quarterfinals, this is a team that has allowed six goals during their five matches in the tournament.
If former Miami striker Julian Carranza and league MVP candidate Daniel Gazdag are available, there's a chance that the Union can put up quite a few goals even without new signing Tai Baribo available for the match due to paperwork issues. The issue is that Gazdag missed the Union's victory with a knee injury and the Hungarian is critical to making the attack tick. But in Jose Martinez, the Union have a defensive midfielder who can shadow Messi and Sergio Busquets to make life hard for the Herons.
A Venezuelan international, Martinez has faced Messi in international play and that familiarity could prove to be critical. Most who have faced him were playing Messi for the first time or didn't have the appropriate personnel to deal with Miami's threats. The Union do and they're able to counter Miami's weaknesses out wide with Kai Wagner and Oliver Mbazio whipping in balls from wide positions.
With World Cup champion Lionel Messi as its centerpiece, Inter Miami has won five straight matches, all as part of the Leagues Cup tournament. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner from Argentina has scored eight goals in that time, including the capper in Miami's 4-0 victory over Charlotte FC in the quarterfinals.
Inter Miami's attack has transformed since adding Messi and his former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets. Before inserting Messi into the lineup, Miami hadn't scored more than two goals all year. They've scored 15 in the past four games.
Their next opponent won't be easy though. Philadelphia came within minutes of winning the MLS Cup last season and are fourth in points this season. Behind goalkeeper Andre Blake, the Union have allowed just four goals in five Leagues Cup matches.