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Jeffrey Stokes
Jeffrey Stokes

((Lionel Messi>STREAMS)) Inter Miami vs Real Salt Lake Live Broadcast Free 21 February 2024 Today

How to watch Inter Miami vs. Real Salt Lake (2/21/24): Live stream, time, TV, channel for MLS opener. Inter Miami, led by Lionel Messi, will face Real Salt Lake in an MLS game on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 (2/21/24) at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Inter Miami will take on Real Salt Lake in the Major League Soccer (MLS) season opener at the DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday. Lionel Messi and co. will be hoping to add trophies to the shelf this season as the club has an improved roster and the former Barcelona star is available for selection right from the off.

HOW TO WATCH: Fans can watch on Apple TV+, via a subscription to the MLS Season Pass.

Here’s what you need to know:

What: MLS opener

Who: Inter Miami vs. Real Salt Lake

When: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

Time: 8 p.m.

Where: DRV PNK Stadium


Messi Mania returns to Major League Soccer as Lionel Messi embarks on his first full season with Inter Miami.

But this year, there’s a twist.

Inter Miami signed Luis Suarez in the offseason, reuniting the two close friends. The pair, along with former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, have made Miami THE team to watch heading into the Major League Soccer’s 29th season.

Inter Miami offered me a nice opportunity to dream of winning the club’s first MLS title, to play with big players, who everybody knows, and adapt to my new team and club, Suarez said. I am motivated by that challenge.

But with Messi, Suarez and the rest of Inter Miami set to open the season at home on Wednesday night against Real Salt Lake, MLS is in the middle of a labor dispute with its referees.

The Professional Referees Organization, which manages MLS referees, announced Saturday that it will lock out match officials after they rejected a proposed collective bargaining agreement just days before the start of the season.

PRO said it had reached a tentative agreement last weekend with the Professional Soccer Referees Association. But the union said nearly 96% of its members voted to reject it.

That means there will likely be replacement refs officiating matches for the foreseeable future.

The lockout casts a shadow on the start of an intriguing MLS year. Messi will have a full season to work his magic. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived in Miami midway through last season, boosting ticket sales, jersey sales and Apple TV (the league’s media partner) subscriptions.

He helped Miami to a trophy in the first season of the Leagues Cup tournament with Liga MX. But he couldn’t quite make enough difference to push the team into the playoffs after Miami’s slow start. Miami finished 9-18-7 last season, in 14th place in the Eastern Conference.

While Miami has the celebrities, the Columbus Crew showed last season they have the skills, winning the MLS Cup final 2-1. The Crew have their own star in Colombian forward Cucho Hernandez, a game changer who was named the championship game’s MVP.

In addition to Suarez, the league welcomed some other big international names in the offseason, including Bundesliga veteran Emil Forsberg, who was signed by the New York Red Bulls, French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with LAFC, Croatian forward Petar Musa with Dallas, and Belgian forward Hugo Cuypers with Chicago.

While Suarez is 37 and his knees are giving him more trouble, he still had 27 goals and 17 assists with Brazilian club Gremio last season. He’ll play with Messi, Alba and Busquets for the first time since all four were with Barcelona in the 2019-20 season.

One of the motivations for me coming here was to reunite with them, Suarez said after his first practice in Miami. But more than anything, we are very ambitious, very professional and we are committed to showing the young talented Inter Miami players that your age doesn’t matter, what matters is the commitment you have on and off the field.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber outlined some of the league’s successes in an interview last week with The Associated Press.

Season ticket sales are up 15% this season over the same time last year, overall league sponsorship revenue is up 17% while club revenue is up 15%, and merchandise sales are up 44% over this time last year.

Is that the Messi Effect? Absolutely. It’s a sign that MLS is becoming a destination league.

I think that this will put MLS on a different trajectory that started when Beckham came to MLS and had us part of the global conversation, Garber said about Messi’s stint in the league. And who knows what that’s going to look like years from now? But certainly we’re in a different position today than we had been, with Messi in our league.

MLS is already a proving ground young international players.

Among the newcomers are Gabriel Pec, a 22-year-old Brazilian with the LA Galaxy, Argentine forward Agustin Ojeda, 19, of NYCFC and LAFC’s David Martinez, an 18-year-old winger from Venezuela.

Others promising players include center back Tomas Aviles, 20, at Inter Miami, teammate Benjamin Cremaschi, 18, who has a shot at making the U.S. Olympic team, and Real Salt Lake’s Fidel Barajas, just 17.

And of course the reigning Young Player of the Year, Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada, who was on Argentina’s winning 2022 World Cup squad and is just 22.

The Columbus Crew won their third overall MLS Cup with the victory over LAFC. FC Cincinnati won the Supporters Shield going away with 69 points, while St. Louis City finished atop the Western Conference in the team’s first season.

LAFC’s Denis Bouanga won the Golden Boot for most goals with 20.

Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta was named the league’s Most Valuable Player with 17 goals and 14 assists. He also won Goal of the Year for his clinical right-footed goal after running through a series of Charlotte FC defenders in a September match.

This season is slightly unusual compared to recent years in MLS in that there are no expansion teams kicking off in 2024. Major League Soccer’s explosive growth has seen it rise from 19 teams just a decade ago. But don’t fret, San Diego FC joins next season as the league’s 30th team.

There’s also going to be lots of attention on soccer in coming years, which will no doubt boost the league.

This year the United States is hosting the Copa America Tournament for the first time since 2016, and just the second time in the history of the tournament.

The FIFA Club World Cup will be held in the United States next year with an expanded field of 32 teams. The next year the U.S. hosts the World Cup with Mexico and Canada.

The MLS season is only a few days away from getting started and Inter Miami will be looking to record a good campaign, with its stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets expected to make a difference in many of Inter Miami’s games.

However, things haven’t been smooth for The Herons lately, as they have only won one of their six pre-season matches, including shocking defeats like their 6-0 loss to Al Nassr.

After playing their last friendly clash against Newell’s Old Boys, the Leagues Cup champs will take on Real Salt Lake in their first league game, which ended in the ninth spot in last year’s regular season.

Last season, the Herons ended up second from the bottom in the Eastern Conference, accumulating just 34 points. Meanwhile, their opponents in the upcoming season opener suffered a defeat in the opening round of the playoffs against the Houston Dynamo, with the decisive third match resulting in a penalty shootout loss (4-3).

Miami could potentially face the start of the season without Benjamin Cremaschi, while Facundo Farias is grappling with a cruciate ligament tear sustained last month, and Serhiy Kryvtsov continues his recovery from a troublesome hamstring.

The club made notable signings in Fidel Barajas, the 2023 Young Player of the Year in the United Soccer League (USL), along with Matt Crooks from Championship side Middlesbrough, and Alexandros Katranis from Piast Gliwice in the Polish top flight.


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