The Daily Mail says an MLS player will win Ballon d’Or (Messi; it’s Messi. Let us have this…)
Three players have joined MLS after winning the Ballon d’Or, but no one has ever won the most prestigious individual award in soccer while playing for a Major League Soccer side; Lionel Messi appears poised to add that feat to his lengthy resume. Not the Ballon d’Or (he has a record seven); Messi’s summer move from PSG to Inter Miami puts him in line to be the first player in America’s premier league to win the prestigious trophy.
Oddsmakers favor Messi over the statuesque Norwegian Erling Haaland, who set the record for most goals in an English Premier League season (36) and scored 52 goals in 53 appearances while helping Manchester City win the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League this season.
Messi’s numbers weren’t as impressive for the French champions but, in a side with Neymar and Killian Mbappe, Messi wasn’t depended on to score (but tallied 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1). His arrival in MLS has helped his case, with 10 goals, an assist and a Leagues Cup championship in just seven games.
The three Ballon d’Or winners who have played in MLS are Hristo Stoichkov (Ballon d’Or winner 1994; Chicago Fire and D.C. United, 2000-2003); Lothar Matthaeus (1990; MetroStars 2000-2001); and Ricardo Kaka (2007; Orlando City, 2014-2017).
The French sports publication France Football has presented the Ballon d’Or since 1956 to the world’s best player of the year. The award will be presented Oct. 30 in Paris.
Noonan has a plan to stop Messi…kinda
Coach Pat Noonan has FC Cincinnati atop the MLS pile with 51 points from 24 matches; the Lions currently lead the Supporter’s Shield race by seven points over expansion side and Western Conference kingpin, St. Louis City; both teams have 10 matches left to play.
Cincinnati is still looking for it’s first trophy since joining MLS and is just two wins away from lifting the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. But the Orange & Blue host Inter Miami on Wednesday’s semifinal, a match they would have been expected to win easily a few weeks ago. Instead, Noonan is trying to figure out a way to slow down Lionel Messi.
The Herons have won seven straight matches and claimed their first trophy with a thrilling shootout win at Nashville SC in the Leagues Cup final. Messi has 10 goals, several of the “magisterial” variety adored by sometime-IMCF broadcaster and long-time Messi fan Ray Hudson.
Goal.com shared Noonan’s comments to CBS Sports Golazo on how to stop the Argentinian legend.
"…You need the right defending, you need to be able to get close to the player to keep him from getting the shot. Hopefully, on Wednesday we have some answers."- Pat Noonan, FC Cincinnati coach
“You've seen teams that look to get after him in the challenges that you face when the pressure is broken, you have seen teams that sat in a little bit and teams that are sitting deeper. You have good players with limited space.
"A lot of teams and coaches have taken this approach of how do you stop one of the best to ever play the game; that's our challenge on Wednesday…I know our guys will be up for it, but you still gotta execute in the biggest moments….
“You look at it and say 'How much more can you do?' So, it's those types of moments that you need the right defending, you need to be able to get close to the player to keep him from getting the shot. Hopefully, on Wednesday we have some answers."
In other words…
Here are links to a few other stories we found interesting, entertaining, informative or all three:
1. Messi’s advice to David Ruiz: “Stand still more.”
2. Cincinnati defender out: Yerson Mosquera won’t play in Open Cup semifinal against Inter Miami.
3. ‘Make sure you get his shirt’: The advice Cincinnati star Luciano Acosta said his younger self would advice him about playing Messi.
4. The ‘Messi Effect’ is big business: From Forbes, “Messi Mania: Soccer Star’s Move To Miami Sparks Frenzy Of Ticket And Jersey Sales”
Well, that’s some of the news that’s fit to share. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, keep coming back to Inter Heron! If not…keep coming back anyway. We can only get better!