Morning, everyone. I hope everyone stays inside today while the air quality outside is dismal. Yesterday was a seismic day in the world of Major League Soccer, so you already know what happened:
It’s happening. Lionel Messi has decided to head to Major League Soccer, where he will sign with Inter Miami in an unprecedented deal. Miami beat out FC Barcelona and a monumental offer from Saudi Arabia to join Al-Hilal. He announced his decision in an interview yesterday that set the world on fire:
Still, the Saudis wanted to get one last blockbuster offer in, and it was a massive one:
The league office tried to temper the excitement by saying a deal wasn’t done yet, but most would expect that after a deal of this magnitude that includes so many moving parts.
There’s going to be a billion of these think pieces over the next month or so about how Messi’s arrival could impact MLS. Its going to be a wild, exciting time for the league.
Tickets across the league skyrocketed upon the rumors and eventual confirmation that Lionel Messi was coming to MLS. Even here in DC, the July 8th matchup (which is the first Inter Miami match that he would be eligible to play upon the opening of the summer transfer window) is doing numbers. He could also factor into the MLS All-Star Game, which sent those ticket prices up into space as well.
Messi may not be alone in coming to Miami. Sergio Busquets could also come with him, and there have been rumors of Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba doing the same. This transfer window is going to be bonkers.
Meanwhile, here in the District, despite the wildly awful air quality today, D.C. United played their friendly against Mexican side Necaxa. United lost 1-0.
West Ham wins their first European trophy in 58 years when they have a 90th minute goal to beat Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League Final.
Another final was settled last night, as the Vancouver Whitecaps beat CF Montreal to win the Canadian Championship, booking their place in the newly-retrobranded Concacaf Champions Cup.
The U.S. Open Cup has its final 4 set, and it’s all MLS teams:
With Manchester City’s increased success over the past 12 years has come a rise in popularity here in the United States. The Athletic looks at how City has increased its American support.
In USMNT news, another dual national appears to have chosen to represent the United States:
Jude Bellingham is officially off to Real Madrid, to the tune of €103 million plus incentives. I’m excited to see what he can do at the Bernabeu.
Sheikh Jassim has launched one final attempt to buy Manchester United outright from the Glazer family. The Glazers also have an offer on the table from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe that would allow them to keep a 49% stake in the club.
That’s it for today. Stay safe outside if you have to venture out.