Josef Martinez has left Atlanta United for Inter Miami, replacing the retired Gonzalo Higuain.

Miami announced the deal on Wednesday after Atlanta confirmed they had agreed a contract buyout with the player.

Martinez had been with Atlanta since their debut MLS season in 2018 and is the club's record scorer with 111 goals.

In the 2018 season, he teamed up with Miguel Almiron to lead the Five Stripes to MLS Cup glory.

Martinez was the MLS MVP, MLS All-Star MVP and MLS Cup MVP in that campaign, as well as winning the Golden Boot and scoring the opening goal in the title match.

Atlanta went on to win the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup the following year but have increasingly struggled since Almiron's record-breaking move to Newcastle United in the Premier League.

They missed out on the playoffs in two of the past three years, and Martinez has now moved on to join Eastern Conference rivals Miami.

Under Phil Neville, Miami enjoyed their best season in 2022, finishing sixth in the East, but Higuain's retirement had left a gaping hole in their attack.

"Josef is a champion and adding him to our group is exciting for us as we head into the 2023 season," said sporting director Chris Henderson.

"He's been one of the best players in the league since he first arrived and we believe he'll make a difference here at Inter Miami.

"We're adding a proven goalscorer with a track record of success in MLS. We're thrilled to have a player like Josef in our attack."

Martinez added: "I'm excited for the opportunity to represent Inter Miami and give the best of myself.

"This is a club with high aspirations and that aims to be amongst the best in the league. I hope to help the team achieve its objectives and leave my mark at the club."

Atlanta technical director Carlos Bocanegra said: "Josef has played a pivotal role in Atlanta United's history, scoring memorable goals and hoisting multiple trophies for moments that will forever live with our supporters.

"He was a foundational piece who was responsible for helping build our brand into what it is today.

"We cannot thank him enough for his contributions to the club and the community over the last six years. He will always be part of Atlanta United and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours."

Lionel Messi is rumoured to become the latest superstar to move to MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentina forward will join Inter Miami. 

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, having left the Blaugrana in 2021.

But Inter Miami are said to be "confident" the 35-year-old will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Should the move materialise, Messi would join a host of big names to ply their trade in the United States. Here are some of the most notable examples.

David Beckham

The former England captain shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy in 2007, though his blockbuster move certainly put MLS on the map.

Beckham made 118 appearances during his five-year spell with Galaxy, scoring 20 goals, while helping the franchise to successive MLS Cup triumphs in his final two seasons.

Thierry Henry

Arsenal and France's all-time leading scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Supporters' Shield and making four All-Star appearances.

Henry also coached Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, guiding them into the playoffs during his only full season in charge.

David Villa

Spain's all-time leading marksman became New York City's first signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

A four-time All-Star, Villa would go on to score 80 goals in 126 appearances before departing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.

Kaka

The former Ballon d'Or winner became Orlando City's first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while he was an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Andrea Pirlo

A multiple Scudetto winner with Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was unable to truly leave his mark on MLS during his stint with New York City.

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder did help the franchise reach the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while racking up 62 appearances and netting once.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after switching Manchester United for LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 win over rivals Los Angeles FC, including a 45-yard screamer.

That set the tone for a prolific two-year spell for the former Sweden international, who netted 53 times in 58 appearances before returning to Italy for a second stint at Milan.

Wayne Rooney

England's all-time leading scorer helped D.C. United reach the play-offs in his first season after joining from Everton in 2018, while he will always be remembered for his last-ditch tackle and cross-field assist to Luciano Acosta that sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Orlando City.

Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United and, following a spell at Derby County, he returned to the franchise as head coach in July. 

Gonzalo Higuain

A league title winner with Real Madrid and Juventus, Higuain swapped Italy for the States in September 2020.

Despite missing a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentina striker went on to score 29 goals in 70 appearances before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

Lionel Messi is rumoured to become the latest superstar to move to the MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentina forward will join Inter Miami. 

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, having left the Blaugrana in 2021.

But Inter Miami are said to be "confident" the 35-year-old will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Should the move materialise, Messi would join a host of big names to ply their trade in the United States. Here are some of the most notable examples.

David Beckham

The former England captain shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy in 2007, though his blockbuster move certainly put the MLS on the map.

Beckham made 118 appearances during his five-year spell with Galaxy, scoring 20 goals, while helping the franchise to successive MLS Cup triumph in his final two seasons.

Thierry Henry

Arsenal and France's all-time leading scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Supporters' Shield and making four All-Star appearances.

Henry also coached Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, guiding them into the playoffs during his only full season in charge.

David Villa

Spain's all-time leading marksman became New York City's first signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

A four-time All-Star, Villa would go on to score 80 goals in 126 appearances before departing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.

Kaka

The former Ballon d'Or winner became Orlando City's first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while he was an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Andrea Pirlo

A multiple Scudetto winner with Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was unable to truly leave his mark on the MLS during his stint with New York City.

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder did help the franchise reach the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while racking up 62 appearances and netting once.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after switching Manchester United for LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 win over rivals Los Angeles FC, including a 45-yard screamer.

That set the tone for a prolific two-year spell for the former Sweden international, who netted 53 times in 58 appearances before returning to Italy for a second stint at Milan.

Wayne Rooney

England's all-time leading scorer helped D.C. United reach the play-offs in his first season after joining from Everton in 2018, while he will always be remembered for his last-ditch tackle and cross-field assist to Luciano Acosta that sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Orlando City.

Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United and, following a spell at Derby County, he returned to the franchise as head coach in July. 

Gonzalo Higuain

A league title winner with Real Madrid and Juventus, Higuain swapped Italy for the States in September 2020.

Despite missing a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentina striker went on to score 29 goals in 70 appearances before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

An emotional Gonzalo Higuain called time on a glittering playing career after Inter Miami's exit from the MLS Playoffs on Monday.

The former Argentina international, who won 75 caps for his country, was on the losing side as Miami were beaten 3-0 by reigning champions New York City FC.

Higuain had confirmed his plan to retire earlier this month and was in tears as he left the field, with a career that included spells with Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus now at an end.

"I felt like what I had loved the most as a job had ended. It was half my life, my career, 17 and a half years," said Higuain, who previously spoke of plans to become a mental health coach, as he explained why he was moved to tears.

"Images from my entire career came to my mind – what I lived, what I worked, what I experienced – and I’m leaving very happy because I gave it all until today. That's the most important thing.

"The dream is over and another life begins."

A six-time domestic league champion – with three LaLiga crowns and three Serie A triumphs – the 34-year-old signed for the MLS club in September 2020.

He has left a lasting impression on the club and coach Phil Neville, having scored 29 goals in 67 MLS appearances.

"He's leaving in the way in which he should be leaving, with the goals he's scored, the happiness he's played with," said former Manchester United full-back Neville.

"The way he's embraced his team-mates and carried his team-mates is exactly what we expected. I think he can be massively proud.

"It's a massive adaptation period for any player to come to the MLS, particular when you've played in Europe, in the Champions League, to come here. I think it's a big learning curve if people come here and think it's going to be easy and it's not. 

"I'm proud to have managed him. I think as a club we're proud to have had him. He leaves in a good moment, he helped us get to the Playoffs, and he can now enjoy his retirement. We wish him all the best, and he'll always be welcome."

Reigning MLS champions New York City FC are one step closer to going back-to-back after comfortably handling Inter Miami 3-0 in the first round of the MLS Playoffs.

City were in control throughout, creating 16 shots in the first half compared to just four for Miami, but they went into halftime tied at 0-0 after hitting the woodwork three times.

In one instance, a turnover from Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender handed City's Heber a golden opportunity to break the deadlock, but his chip was cleared off the line into the crossbar, with the rebound then being hacked off the post by a second defender.

City's dominance was rewarded in the second half, with Santiago Rodriguez brilliantly working his way into the Miami penalty box before dishing it off for Gabriel Pereira to finish in the 63rd minute, before Rodriguez also set up the second goal six minutes later with a clever backheel to Maximiliano Moralez.

Heber completed the rout in stoppage time to end the career of Miami's iconic striker Gonzalo Higuain, who was playing in his final season, with City now set to take on Montreal in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Later in the day, FC Dallas needed a penalty shoot-out to advance past Minnesota in the Western Conference.

Emanuel Reynoso's goal for Minnesota in the 53rd minute was canceled out by a 64th-minute strike from Facundo Quignon, and after 30 minutes of extra time, it all came down to penalties.

It was Minnesota's captain Wil Trapp who failed to come through with his side's second penalty, with his tame effort into the bottom-left corner being saved by Dallas' Maarten Paes, before Alan Velasco finished things in style with a cheeky panenka.

Gonzalo Higuain will retire from professional football at the end of the 2022 MLS season, he announced on Monday.

The veteran striker, a 75-cap former Argentina international who was a member of the squad that came second at the 2014 World Cup, will bring the curtain down on a glittering 17-year career.

Higuain played over 100 games for each of Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, having began his playing days with River Plate, while he also had brief spells with Milan and Chelsea before joining Inter Miami.

A six-time domestic league champion – with three LaLiga crowns and three Serie A triumphs – he signed for the MLS club in September 2020.

Higuain has been in top form for Miami in the second half of this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting a further two in the past 14 games.

Phil Neville's side are seventh in the Eastern Conference, clinging to the final playoff place with two games of the regular season remaining.

Victories over Orlando City on Wednesday and CF Montreal on Sunday would extend Miami's season and Higuain's career.

Western Conference leaders LAFC re-discovered their form after a recent slump with a 3-1 home victory over Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

Carlos Vela scored a double, with both goals coming from the penalty spot, as LAFC secured only their second victory from their past eight games.

LAFC have a 15-1-0 record when scoring first this season although Houston leveled the game in the 24th minute from Corey Baird's classy goal after Vela netted an eighth-minute spotkick.

Vela restored LAFC's advantage from the spot on half-time after Fabrice Picault's handball was spotted by the VAR, with Ryan Hollingshead lifting home a third in the 52nd minute.

LAFC remain top of the Western Conference, nine points ahead of second-placed Austin, with two more matchdays until the postseason begins.

Gonzalo Higuain scored a 94th-minute winner to boost Inter Miami's playoffs hopes with a 3-2 road win over DC United, who had Christian Benteke net his first goal for the club.

Higuain struck the winner in the fourth of eight stoppage-time minutes, with a first-time strike from Deandre Yedlin's low cross from the right.

Benteke had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a back-post left-foot volley, before Leonard Campana's double for Inter.

Taxiarchis Fountas equalised in the 57th minute before Higuain's late winner, which means Inter are seventh in the Eastern Conference, moving above Columbus Crew, who conceded again late in a 1-1 draw with Portland Timbers on Sunday.

The Crew were denied all three points with Santiago Moreno lashing home a 95th-minute equaliser for the Timbers, after Kevin Molino's first-half strike.

Both teams ended up with a red card in the New York Red Bulls' 3-1 home win against Inter Miami on Saturday night, where an early Gonzalo Higuain goal was not enough for the visitors to nab any points against their Eastern Conference foes.

Higuain opened the scoring in the 19th minute with an absolute rocket, firing his direct free kick to the goalkeeper-side of the wall and into the top corner.

While that gave Miami the momentum, it was ripped away 10 minutes later when Alejandro Pozuelo was shown a straight red card, putting the away side on the back foot the rest of the way.

Lewis Morgan's goal in the 43rd minute ensured the teams would head into the break all tied up, and Daniel Edelman made it 2-1 for the Red Bulls just eight minutes into the second half.

A second yellow card to Kyle Duncan turned it into a 10-on-10 match, but 19-year-old substitute Caden Clark was able to give New York some breathing room in the 74th minute, building an eight-point gap between his fourth-placed side and fifth-placed Orlando City in the East standings.

The Red Bulls are still 10 points adrift of the conference-leading Philadelphia Union, who enjoyed a 6-0 smashing of the Colorado Rapids in front of their home fans.

Daniel Gadzag netted a hat-trick, giving him 11 goals in his past nine games, and 16 for the season, which ties him for the second-most in the league.

The one-sided beatdown included a 26-to-five shot count, while Philadelphia also controlled 59 per cent of the possession.

The Houston Dynamo – the worst team in the Western Conference this season – nearly pulled off an upset away from home against third-placed Minnesota, but ultimately went down 2-1.

Houston opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time through Corey Baird, and they held their 1-0 lead until the final stages when an own goal from Fafa Picault tied things up in the 79th minute. Minnesota then stole all three points with Luis Amarilla's 84th-minute winner.

Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew are fighting it out for the fringe playoff sports in the Eastern Conference, and they could not be separated in their 2-2 draw. 

Columbus – who only had 0.43 expected goals in the game, compared to 1.36 for Cincinnati – made it 1-1 in the 74th minute with Derick Etienne's leveller, but Cincinnati took the lead straight back three minutes later through Matt Miazga. Steven Moreira would salvage a point for the Crew with nearly the last touch of the game in the 96th minute.

An Italian one-two punch lifted Toronto to a 2-0 win over Charlotte, with Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernadeschi both striking in the second half.

Montreal received two early goals courtesy of Ismael Kone and Romell Quioto and were able to defend them for a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire, while Sporting Kansas City edged fellow Western Conference cellar-dwellers the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0.

In the late window, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake fought out a 1-1 draw, and Hany Mukhtar grabbed another two assists to help Nashville SC handle the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0. Mukhtar now has 16 goals and 11 assists in 27 appearances.

Gonzalo Higuain would be delighted if Lionel Messi were to join Inter Miami, though the former Real Madrid striker has no inside information.

Messi has previously been linked with a switch to Major League Soccer, with a move across the Atlantic having been mooted as a potential option once the 35-year-old leaves Paris Saint-Germain, who he joined from Barcelona in August 2021.

He signed a two-year deal, with an option for a third, at PSG. While his first season in France ultimately proved underwhelming, Messi started the new campaign with a double and an assist in a 5-0 rout of Clermont, before playing the full match in a 5-2 victory over Montpellier on Saturday.

Asked if his former Argentina team-mate would be open to joining Miami, which with its Hispanic population would seem an ideal destination for Messi, Higuain said in a news conference: "With Leo I haven't spoken lately.

"He has a contract in Paris and I do not know whether he will eventually come here. I already had the opportunity to play alongside him for nine years."

 

Asked if Messi's arrival would mean Higuain, whose deal with Miami runs out at the end of the 2022 MLS season, would stay on in Florida, the 34-year-old added: "Well, I do not know, I do not know.

"If that happens, we will see what decision I will make. In December I will let you guys know my decision but now you have to be patient.

"I do not close any door, so we will see what happens. We will also see if he finally joins us, although I do not have any certainty about that."

Italy international Lorenzo Insigne netted his first goal in the MLS as Toronto won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 over Nashville on Saturday, while Gareth Bale was on the scoresheet again for LAFC.

The 31-year-old winger fired in Toronto's fourth goal to make it 4-2 in the 77th minute with a near-post strike from just outside the box.

Insigne, making his third MLS appearance for Toronto, showed his class to create a pocket of space for himself before opening up his body to fire past Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis.

The goal headlined an entertaining contest which helped Toronto claim their seventh win of the season as they seek to mount a late-season charge.

Jonathan Osorio rifled Toronto in a 19th-minute lead but Hany Mukhtar's penalty squared it up in the 41st minute. Osorio restored Toronto's lead by tapping in Richie Laryea's low ball across goal, yet Nashville were level by half-time when Teal Bunbury glanced in off the post from a corner.

Filippo Bernardeschi put Toronto up again with an emphatic 54th-minute penalty before Insigne's moment with just under quarter of an hour to go. Walker Zimmerman headed in a late goal from Mukhtar's corner but Nashville could not find an equaliser as Toronto claimed their first road win in 378 days.

Bale, making his fourth appearance for his new club, netted his second MLS goal in LAFC's 4-1 victory against Real Salt Lake.

The Walsh international came on in the 64th minute with LAFC 3-1 up after Cristian Arango's double and added the fourth with a classy solo goal. Bale ran down the right flank, beating away two defenders, before tucking into the box and finding his favoured left foot for a trademark strike.

Cincinnati made a statement with a strong 3-1 home win against Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union.

All three of Cincinnati's goals came in the second half, after Brenner had a first-goal strike disallowed by the VAR. Brandon Vazquez, Brenner and Alvaro Barreal netted for Cincinnati, who move up to sixth, while Paxton Aaronson scored a late consolation for Union.

Under-performing New England snapped their six-game winless run to revive their playoffs hopes with a 3-0 victory at Orlando City.

Matt Polster, Wilfrid Kaptoum and Henry Kessler got the goals, with Carles Gil grabbing his 12th assist of the season for the latter's strike.

New York City were unable to capitalise on Philadelphia's loss, going down 3-2 at Columbus Crew, for whom Lucas Zelarayan scored a brace.

Gonzalo Higuain got on the scoresheet as Inter Miami rallied from behind to twice to manage a 2-2 draw at Montreal.

Bottom club DC United held New York Red Bulls to a 0-0 draw, while Chicago Fire made it four wins in five games with a 3-2 victory at Charlotte.

In the west, Javier Hernandez netted a late double but it was not enough for LA Galaxy who went down 4-2 at Sporting KC.

Gyasi Zardes scored a hat-trick as Colorado Rapids edged Minnesota United 4-3, Austin and San Jose Earthquakes drew 3-3 and Portland Timbers and Dallas both scored late in a 1-1 draw.

Montreal scored twice in the final two minutes to rally from behind to claim a 2-1 victory away to Columbus Crew in the MLS on Wednesday, in a game delayed by inclement weather.

Lucas Zelarayan had fired the Crew into a 14th-minute lead with a low shot but Montreal hit back late, to help them move into third in the Eastern Conference.

Kei Kamara nodded in Alistair lex Johnston's 89th-minute corner, before Joel Waterman got in behind the defence from Lassi Lappalainen's lofted pass to squeeze home the winner in the 94th minute.

Inter Miami breathed life into their season with a 1-0 road win over San Jose Earthquakes to move up to eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Juan Mota's spectacular left-foot strike in the 12th minute was the difference, while Gonzalo Higuain's skill went unrewarded after a mazy run early in the second half.

Charlotte stayed ahead of Inter with a 3-0 home victory over DC United moving them up to seventh in the east.

Steven Birnbaum's 13th-minute own goal separated the sides, before second-half strikes from Karol Swiderski and Quinn McNeil within four minutes settled the contest.

Portland Timbers and Nashville drew 1-1 keeping both sides in the middle of the Western Conference standings.

A crazy day in MLS saw two 4-4 draws, with Phil Neville complaining Inter Miami had "defended like little boys" as they were held by FC Cincinnati.

Inter required a 97th-minute equaliser from Christopher McVey to rescue a point, despite having led 3-2 entering the final 10 minutes thanks to a first-half Gonzalo Higuain hat-trick.

Brandon Vazquez scored twice to turn the game on its head, leaving Neville furious despite McVey's last-gasp intervention.

"We defended like little boys, we defended naively, we didn't compete, we lacked discipline and concentration," the former Manchester United and Everton defender said. "And that's unacceptable, unacceptable.

"Simple balls into the box we didn't deal with. Simple concentration bits we didn't deal with.

"We are in the stage of the season where concentration is the main thing, concentration will get you to win games of football, and it's not going to be easy; you've just got to defend and do the right things all the time, and defensively we were as poor as we have been all season."

Remarkably, it was not Saturday's first eight-goal draw, as Minnesota United and the Portland Timbers had earlier played out a thriller.

Sebastian Blanco got the scoring started in the first minute, but there was no late drama in this one, with all eight goals netted before the 70-minute mark.

This was the first time in MLS history two matches on the same day have seen both teams score at least four goals, but there was a chasm between the Philadelphia Union and the Houston Dynamo in Saturday's third high-scoring game.

The Union ran out 6-0 winners as Mikael Uhre continued his stunning run of form at Subaru Park, netting either side of half-time for his fifth and sixth goals in his past four home games.

Uhre had also scored twice in a 7-0 defeat of DC United earlier in July, making Philly the first team to win multiple games by a six-goal margin in a single MLS season.

Elsewhere, New York City FC lost ground on the Union in the East as they drew with CF Montreal, while Sebastian Druissi continued his MVP bid by inspiring Austin FC to a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City.

"He continues to demonstrate why he deserves that [award]," said Austin coach Josh Wolff.

Philadelphia Union maintained top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, securing a 2-1 win away to Inter Miami on Wednesday.

Goals to Daniel Gazdag and Cory Burke handed the Union the three points to put them on 36 for the season, leading the Eastern Conference by a solitary point.

Gazdag's penalty in the 26th minute was critical, because from there the Union could absorb pressure, and the best defence in the MLS were able to grind out another win.

With only 35.7 per cent possession in the second half, their job was simpler after Burke doubled the margin in the 66th minute, heading in Kai Wagner's dead ball at the back post.

In only his second start since Inter's 3-1 loss to Houston Dynamo in April, Gonzalo Higuain bagged his third goal of the season – smashing the ball into the top corner from distance on the run, and on his opposite left foot – but it was mere consolation in the 82nd minute.

New York City remain hot on their heels, however, maintaining the one-point gap in the Eastern Conference after claiming a tough 1-0 win away to FC Dallas.

Heber was left with a simple tap-in in the 29th minute after Santiago Rodriguez was able to drive into space from the second ball, and he coolly finished for the eventual three points.

Elsewhere in the East, a Jhon Duran brace handed Chicago Fire a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC, while D.C. United twice equalised in the final 10 minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Columbus Crew.

Cincinnati and Orlando City dropped critical points in the playoff race with respective draws to the Vancouver Whitecaps and Colorado Rapids, while a Ronaldo Cisneros brace gave Atlanta United a big 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, putting them three points behind seventh-placed Charlotte.

Most of the chasing pack in the Western Conference were not able to capitalise on Dallas and RSL's slip-ups, with Minnesota United playing out a 1-1 draw with Sporting KC, while the San Jose Earthquakes scored a 3-2 win away to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nashville SC did capitalise and moved to third in the West though, claiming a 1-0 win at home to the in-form Seattle Sounders.

Hany Mukhtar scored the eventual winner in the 44th minute with the interval beckoning, scoring in transition after Randall Leal snatched the ball and released CJ Sapong.

Gonzalo Higuain will hang up his boots at the end of the Major League Soccer season, according to his father.

Higuain joined Inter Miami in September 2020, and has scored 15 goals in 44 MLS games for the team co-owned by David Beckham.

The 34-year-old is out of contract in December, and reports had suggested the former Real Madrid and Juventus striker was planning to move back to Argentina at the end of the campaign.

However, speaking to TNT Sports, his father, Jorge, said his son has told him he intends to end his career after he is finished in Miami.

"He is not going back to Argentina," his father, a former River Plate and Boca Juniors player, confirmed. "He told me that he is retiring at the end of the year. He is ending this year and is retiring from football.

"I would love for him to continue to be linked to football after playing. He is a boy who knows a lot, who has played in several places, he has everything to succeed. For me, it would be an insult if he does not continue in football."

After moving from River Plate to Madrid in December 2006, Higuain made a name for himself at Santiago Bernabeu, scoring 107 goals in 190 LaLiga appearances before moving to Napoli, where he famously broke the all-time Serie A record for goals in a single campaign (36 in 2015-16).

A big-money move to rivals Juventus saw him spend two seasons with the Bianconeri before loan moves to Milan and Chelsea. He spent one more year with Juve before heading to the United States in 2020.

He scored 31 goals in 75 games for Argentina.

Gonzalo Higuain is happy to have enjoyed a fruitful international career with Argentina, despite never getting his hands on a trophy for his country.

The attacker, who was a member of the Albiceleste team that finished second at the Brazil 2014 World Cup, retired from the national setup in 2019, missing out on the Copa America triumph last year.

Higuain, now playing for Inter Miami in MLS, is delighted for old team-mate Lionel Messi's long-awaited international success, but remains proud of his own career for his country.

"With my national team, I gave everything and I will never blame myself for that," Higuain told Stats Perform. "Unfortunately I couldn't get anything.

"But I'm happy for those who could because we've shared so many bad times, but nobody takes what we've lived through.

"We were a wonderful group and we played great football, but some of us stepped aside and those who followed made it."

Higuain also believes trophies must come secondary to how a player acts both on and off the pitch.

"I want to congratulate [Messi] for keeping trying, that's what life is all about," he added.

"I think that having won a Copa America or a World Cup doesn't make you a better person. The most important thing in life is the values one has and being a good person.

 "Unfortunately, people value you for what you win or what you lose, but I prefer to be remembered for being good people and having left something in each club I played.

"I was champion in each club, I scored goals and played in the best clubs, then whoever wants can evaluate you for one or two plays.

"I respect opinions, but my happiness does not change whether or not I have achieved something with my national team. If you are happy with yourself, then that's it.

"I congratulate them, but we continue our lives in the same way, I don't feel like a better or worse person for that."

Higuain will look to help Miami to a first win of the new MLS season against Houston Dynamo in their next outing.

The former Juventus, Real Madrid and Napoli forward scored 12 times in MLS last season but has only netted once so far this term, with Miami having lost three of their four games.

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