Nashville SC v Inter Miami: Leagues Cup final 2023 – live | Leagues Cup 2023

Key events

Third place!

The Sweden of the Leagues Cup is Philadelphia, which just defeated Monterrey 3-0. The Union had a bit more incentive because they could earn a berth in the Concacaf Champions Cup, while Monterrey had already punched their tickets.

Up for the Cup?

Welcome … to the Leagues Cup final!

The what?

The Leagues Cup is an odd competition borne out of the fact that putting a US team of some kind against a Mexican team of some kind is often an excuse to print money. That hasn’t been borne out through all of the games so far, but attendance got a bit of a boost when Inter Miami took advantage of its extensive scouting network to sign a heretofore unknown Argentinian player who used to play for a couple of obscure clubs in Spain and France.

OK, yes, they signed Lionel Messi. And whatever this competition was intended to be has been overshadowed in a way that MLS surely won’t mind.

This has been Messi’s tournament.

Six games. Nine goals. Some of them spectacular even by his standard.

MLS has signed world-class and world-famous players before. Roberto Donadoni was here in Year 1 (1996), then went back to Italy. Lothar Matthäus and Hristo Stoichkov were in MLS at the turn of the century, with the latter taking it a bit more seriously than the former.

And then, in 2007, came David Beckham, still young and viable enough that he would go to Milan on loan from Los Angeles and finish out his career at Paris St. Germain.

Beckham continues to play a big part in adding some glamour to the league. Most notably, he’s a part-owner of Inter Miami.

Which is the club that signed Lionel Messi.

And Sergio Busquets.

And Jordi Alba.

All of which might explain why a last-place team has, during this hiatus in league play, advanced to the final of the Leagues Cup.

And why Nashville, already the home of a well-supported MLS club, has seen ticket prices going past $10,000 for this final.

Beau will be here shortly.