Messi, Suárez, and Busquets Expected to Miss Vancouver Match

Vancouver Whitecaps Inform Fans: Messi, Suárez, and Busquets Unlikely to Play

by Faruk Imamovic
Messi, Suárez, and Busquets Expected to Miss Vancouver Match
© Getty Images/Carmen Mandato

Vancouver Whitecaps fans received disappointing news this week as the club announced that Inter Miami CF stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets are unlikely to participate in the upcoming match at BC Place on Saturday.

"While we haven't received an official update on the availability of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets for this weekend, we understand they will not make this trip. Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate to our fans as soon as possible," Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster said in a statement.

Inter Miami has not yet responded to the Whitecaps' announcement. This match will mark the first meeting between Inter Miami and the Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer (MLS), highlighting the scheduling challenges that often prevent teams in opposing conferences from playing each other regularly.

Ensuring a Memorable Experience

The Whitecaps acknowledged the disappointment that fans might feel due to the absence of these high-profile players. "We always want our best players going up against our opponent's best players, and facing players of the highest pedigree was especially exciting for our team," the Whitecaps' statement continued. "We know that there will also be a lot of disappointed fans. We remain committed to making this a special experience for everyone. It is still going to be an incredible atmosphere and celebration of soccer for our city. We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday's match is a very important home game for us."

Anticipation for this match remains high, with the Whitecaps expecting a record-breaking crowd of over 50,000 fans, setting a new milestone for their MLS era. To ensure a positive experience despite the absence of Messi, Suárez, and Busquets, the Whitecaps will offer a 50% discount on all in-stadium food and beverages.

Potential Reasons for Absence

Several factors might contribute to the decision to rest Messi and his former Barcelona teammates. Messi has already missed six games this year due to a leg injury or for rest. The match will be played on turf at BC Place, a surface Messi has indicated he is willing to play on, though it poses additional physical demands.

Additionally, the significant distance between Miami and Vancouver, nearly 2,900 miles, could be a consideration. Following Saturday's game, Inter Miami is scheduled to play Atlanta United at home on Wednesday, making travel and recovery time critical factors.

Lionel Messi, the 36-year-old Argentine star, has been in phenomenal form this season, scoring 10 goals in 10 MLS games and leading the league with 12 assists. Inter Miami currently leads the Eastern Conference standings, while Vancouver is positioned seventh in the West.