Inter Miami hope to be able to sign Lionel Messi and establish themselves as "the benchmark of soccer in the United States", co-owner Jorge Mas has reiterated.

The MLS outfit are owned by a group including former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England great David Beckham, so they are no strangers to big names.

But the arrival of seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi in the United States would likely represent a landmark transfer in the sport's history.

For now, Messi, who had spent his entire club career with Barcelona until last year, is under contract at Paris Saint-Germain for another season, while there is the option for a further 12 months, too.

However, Inter are not giving up hope of recruiting the 35-year-old before he calls time on a legendary career.

The club's chief business officer Xavier Asensi hinted at interest in Messi earlier this week, and Mas doubled down on their transfer market ambition in an interview with Sport as Barca visit Miami in pre-season.

 

Mas, a co-owner alongside Beckham, said: "Well, look, both David Beckham and I aspire to bring the best players in the world here to Miami.

"[It is] not only because of the project we are creating, because we want to be the benchmark of soccer in the United States, but when you talk about the best players in the world, Leo is obviously the best player on the planet.

"Hopefully the conditions will be for him being there, playing in the shirt of Inter Miami of the United States. We aspire to that. Hopefully the circumstances will arise.

"We have nothing guaranteed, there is no agreement, but I am a very optimistic man, and hopefully in the future Leo Messi can be part of our project."

Lionel Messi moving to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami would serve as a "reference point for football in the U.S." as David Beckham's franchise look to make high-profile signings.

That is the message from Miami's chief business officer Xavier Asensi, who hinted to Mundo Deportivo that his side will look to make a move for Messi.

Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini made their MLS debuts on Sunday for Los Angeles FC in a 2-1 win over Nashville SC.

Five-time Champions League winner Bale and Chiellini, who won Euro 2020 with Italy last year, joined Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Beckham as some of the biggest names to play in MLS.

With Messi's Paris Saint-Germain contract set to expire at the end of the upcoming season, Asensi suggested Miami will attempt to sign Messi but conceded the aim may be unrealistic.

When asked whether signing a player like Messi was a target for Beckham's side, Asensi said: "Yes, with some caveats. You can't compare Leo Messi with any other player; he's different.

"Having said that, what we're looking for is to be the reference point for football in the U.S., and to do that, the important thing is the players and the show that you can put on.

"To do so, you need the best players, and having them is a genuine objective at this club. In terms of Leo Messi, there's him and then there's everyone else.

"It depends on him and what he wants. We want to have the best players in the world, and I think Messi is the best in history. From there it's up to him."

 

Messi, 35, experienced a lean first season by his own high standards for PSG, scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions.

That return was 17 fewer than he managed for Barcelona in the 2020-21 campaign, his final campaign before ending a 21-year association with the Blaugrana.

Though his goal tally diminished, Messi set up 14 league goals – only once in his last five seasons at Camp Nou (21 in 2019-20) did he assist more in a term.

After making his intentions and admirations for Messi clear, Asensi's focus turned to the pre-season friendly against Barca on Wednesday.

"From an emotional point of view it's marvellous and professionally it's exceptional," he added. "Barca are, if not the biggest, one of the three biggest clubs in the world for sure, and clubs are the ones that capitalise on the passion for football.

"I don't know of any fans of FIFA or UEFA. In international football everyone supports their country, but clubs don't have any borders, they go everywhere. And in terms of clubs, Barca are among the biggest, looking at the numbers.

"Emotionally, it's the biggest thing for me. To have them here, for the people of Miami, is spectacular."

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.

High-profile debutant Hector Herrera led an inspired fightback for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, with his side equalising twice to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

After coming from behind and scoring an injury-time winner last time out in the Texas derby, the Toros hit the lead relatively early via captain Matt Hedges in the 27th minute.

Somewhat overshadowing the derby, Mexico international and recent high-profile signing Hector Herrera made his debut for the Dynamo, and it transformed the match.

Herrera moved to his natural position deeper in midfield upon his introduction, and his quick thinking at the dead ball allowed for Thorleifur Ulfarsson's equaliser in the 69th minute.

Jesus Ferreira scored in the 93rd minute for what appeared to be a winner for Dallas, but Teenage Hadebe scored a second equaliser for the Dynamo in the 111th minute, in what was a heated second half.

The Toros have not won in the MLS since May, bringing the LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Nashville in contention for a home playoff in the Western Conference, despite Real Salt Lake's 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids.

Austin FC moved to second spot in the West, meanwhile, earning a 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Sebastian Driussi came off the bench to round out the scoring after a goal and assist from Ethan Finlay in the opening 20 minutes, setting up Felipe Martins.

Portland Timbers were 3-0 winners over the Seattle Sounders, while Charlotte defeated Nashville 4-1. In other inter-conference play, Toronto FC played out a 2-2 draw with the SJ Earthquakes while Sporting KC defeated CF Montreal 2-1. 

New York RB kept top spot in the Eastern Conference, but could only manage a 1-1 draw against a nine-man Cincinnati, following second-half dismissals for Allan Cruz and Luciano Acosta. Elsewhere in the East, Derrick Etienne scored a double off the bench to give Columbus Crew a 3-2 victory.

New York City moved to within a point of their cross-town rivals and Philadelphia Union, with a Valentin Castellanos brace helping them to a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

In Saturday's final game, a Damion Lowe own-goal in the 92nd minute handed Orlando City the three points, defeating Inter Miami 1-0..

 

Inter Miami have confirmed the signing of former Major League Soccer MVP Alejandro Pozuelo from Toronto FC.

Pozuelo, crowned MLS' best player in 2020 in the second of a three-and-a-half-season stay with Toronto, will occupy an International Roster slot and a Designated Player slot for Inter.

Phil Neville's side will pay $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) to Toronto across two years for the signing of Pozuelo, which is subject to the Spaniard receiving a P-1 Visa.

Toronto will also retain a sell-on percentage in the event of a future transfer, while Inter will send additional conditional GAM if Pozuelo meets certain performance-based incentives.

"We're thrilled to be able to welcome a player of Alejandro's calibre," Inter sporting director Chris Henderson said. 

"He has proven himself to be one of the brightest talents in the league and we are confident that will continue here in South Florida.

"We were looking to add a decisive, creative attacking player and we feel he fits the profile."

Prior to joining Toronto, where he scored 30 goals and assisted 34 in 100 appearances across all competitions, Pozuelo played for Real Betis, Swansea City, Rayo Vallecano and Genk.

As well as winning the MVP award two years ago, the 30-year-old was also twice named in the MLS Team of the Season.

"We believe Alejandro will fit right in with our group," head coach Neville said. "He's a player of tremendous quality that we feel can be a real game changer for us.

"We can't wait to integrate him into the squad and are looking forward to seeing him on the pitch in Inter Miami colours."

Pozuelo's departure from Toronto comes amid widespread speculation that the Canadian club are closing in on a move for former Juventus midfielder Federico Bernardeschi.

Austin FC held on for a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids away from home, surviving the final 15 minutes with 10 men red card.

The win required a major comeback after Lalas Abubakar put the Rapids ahead in the 19th minute and the hosts then doubled their advantage three minutes later with a Jonathan Lewis strike.

Austin pegged one back in the 28th minute when Ethan Finlay struck from just inside the area, and the sides went in all square at 2-2 when Sebastian Driussi equalised in first-half stoppage time.

The visitors thought they had completed their comeback in the 52nd minute, only for Maximiliano Urruti's goal to be ruled out, but that decision merely delayed the celebrations as Urriti scored again seven minutes later.

The turnaround continued a remarkable trend for Austin, who have now won two and drawn two of the five games in which they have trailed my multiple goals this season, losing just once.

They held out this time despite Kipp Keller's dismissal for a second yellow card in the 75th minute, after which Colorado dominated 81.4 per cent of the possession and hit the post through Michael Barrios but could not find an equaliser.

Elsewhere, the LA Galaxy pummelled CF Montreal 4-0 in an effective counter-attacking display.

Javier Hernandez opened the scoring for the Galaxy, Dejan Jovelic doubled the lead from the penalty spot, and Rayan Raveloson grabbed a second-half brace to complete the rout.

Inter Miami left it late to draw with FC Dallas, netting an 88th-minute equaliser through substitute Leonardo Campana, and there was also late drama in DC United's highly entertaining 5-3 win at Orlando City.

A hat-trick from Taxiarchis Fountas had DC 3-0 up early in the second half, yet an Orlando recovery meant Alexandre Pato's penalty cut that lead to 4-3 with 10 minutes to play.

Rather than collapse, though, United made sure of victory with a 96th-minute goal from Nigel Robertha.

The top team in the Eastern Conference had to settle for a draw on Sunday as New York City hosted the Western Conference's Colorado Rapids for a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium.

There was no doubt about who the dominant side was on the day, as City finished with 66 per cent possession and 16 shots to the Rapids' six, while completing nearly double the amount of passes (529-271).

Despite their struggles, it would be Colorado who broke the deadlock as Michael Barrios struck a low drive into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the area in the 68th minute.

The lead would be short-lived, with Talles Magno expertly controlling a cross on his chest before volleying in the equaliser less than five minutes later in the 72nd minute.

New York would produce multiple quality opportunities down the stretch, but the Colorado defense would hold firm and take a valuable point away from home, slightly improving their standing up to ninth in the Western Conference.

City remain one point clear of New York Red Bulls atop the East, while further down the table Atlanta United were convincing 2-0 winners against Inter Miami.

Atlanta were in control all game, taking the lead through a Luiz Araujo strike in the fourth minute and finishing with 60 per cent possession.

It was Josef Martinez who assisted Araujo's goal, and Araujo returned the favour, assisting Martinez in the 61st minute to double United's advantage and allow the home side to cruise to the win.

New England came from a goal down to defeat Minnesota United 2-1 at home after the visitors went ahead in the 37th minute through an Emanuel Reynoso penalty.

Minnesota were deserving leaders early, with 10 shots to one in the first half, and all five of the game's shots on target.

That all flipped on its head in the second half, as New England were able to produce 10 shots compared to United's three, with 20-year-old Dylan Borrero equalising in the 53rd minute, before Gustavo Bou scored a terrific free-kick winner in the 69th.

Rounding out Sunday's action was a surprise result as the team with the worst goal differential in the league – Sporting KC (minus 14) – defeated Nashville SC 2-1 on the road.

In a scrappy, defensive battle, neither side finished with more than 0.80 expected goals, but it would be the visitors who were more clinical with their two goals both coming from well outside the penalty area.

Felipe Hernandez scored the game's first goal with an indirect free kick from close to 40 yards out as the bounce beat the Nashville goalie, before Graham Zusi curled in a beauty into the far post with his left boot. Sporting KC finished with 0.35 expected goals.

New York City have extended their winning streak to four games and moved into top spot in the Eastern Conference after a 1-0 road win over Minnesota United on Saturday.

City defender Alexander Callens netted the game's only goal in the 29th minute, while goalkeeper Sean Johnson was outstanding for the visitors.

Callens powered in the winner with a bouncing header from Santiago Rodriguez's corner.

Minnesota almost equalised in the 90th minute but were thwarted by a spectacular double save by Johnson from Emanuel Reynoso and Robin Lod efforts.

City moved ahead of Philadelphia Union in the east, after they could only manage a 1-1 draw away to under-achieving New England Revolution.

The Revs, who won last season's Supporters' Shield, have rallied after a poor start to their campaign, going unbeaten in their past five, but have only collected 16 points from 13 games.

Gustavo Bou had put New England ahead from the penalty spot in the 75th minute, but Union levelled two minutes later after Omar Gonzalez's inexplicable error allowed Mikael Uhre to score.

Montreal, who are third in the east, got back on the winners' list with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Cincinnati with a double from Rommel Quioto.

Luquinhas netted a brace as New York Red Bulls stayed in touch with the Eastern Conference's top three with a 4-1 home victory over struggling DC United.

In the Western Conference, LAFC remains four points clear at the top after Brian Rodriguez's 47th-minute winner clinched a 3-2 triumph over San Jose Earthquakes.

LAFC had raced to a 2-0 lead inside 13 minutes but San Jose equalised after two goals from in-form Jeremy Ebobisse, who has scored an equal-league high nine times this term.

Rodriguez, who got the assist for Ryan Hollingshead's 13th minute goal, scored when a loose ball arrived at his feet unmarked at the back post, firing past Earthquakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

Nashville ended the Colorado Rapids' remarkable 23-game unbeaten run at home with a 3-1 victory.

Charles Sapong netted in the eighth minute, before Hany Mukhtar's quickfire double had Nashville 3-0 up inside 18 minutes. The win moves Nashville up to fifth in the west.

Dallas came from behind to win 3-1 at Orlando City, Real Salt Lake won their third straight with a 3-0 victory over Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps moved off bottom spot with a 1-0 triumph at Sporting KC.

Inter Miami extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-1 home win over Portland Timbers, Columbus Crew triumphed 2-1 over 10-man Atlanta United and Toronto won 3-2 over Chicago Fire after two late Pozuelo goals.

New York City FC moved to second spot in the Eastern Conference on Sunday, claiming a 1-0 victory at home to Chicago Fire.

Following a handball from Miguel Navarro, Heber scored the lone goal for City from the penalty spot to move the reigning MLS champions to 23 points.

It was only the 30-year-old's second goal this season, and despite City's dominance in possession with 61.8 per cent of the ball, they could not translate it to anything substantial in open play.

City have nevertheless won six of their last seven games in the MLS to recover from a slow start to the season, with only one win in their opening five.

Ronny Deila's side sit a point from Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference following the Union's 2-0 win on the road over Portland Timbers in Sunday's final game.

Elsewhere in the East, CF Montreal and New York RB both dropped points, losing to Real Salt Lake and Inter Miami respectively.

Orlando City let a two-goal lead within the opening 25 minutes slip, meanwhile, going down to nine men and eventually playing out a 2-2 draw away to Austin FC.

Moussa Kalilou Djitte's equaliser in the 95th minute salvaged a point for Austin, who could not manage to retake top spot in the Western Conference from Los Angeles FC.

Los Angeles Galaxy lost their second in the three games, going down 3-0 to Houston Dynamo, while FC Dallas also lost to Minnesota United.

The Seattle Sounders' disappointing start to the MLS season continued on Sunday, losing 1-0 to Colorado Rapids, while the SJ Earthquakes and Sporting KC played out a 1-1 draw.

After two goals in the opening ten minutes, Daniel Rios provided an 85th-minute winner for Charlotte as they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1.  

Barcelona have announced that they will face Major League Soccer sides Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls in the United States as part of their pre-season.

Barca still have one competitive game of the 2021-22 campaign to play – at home to Villarreal on Sunday – yet plans are in place for their preparations ahead of next season. 

Xavi's side will face David Beckham's Miami, who have been linked with Barcelona great Lionel Messi, at DRV PNK Stadium on July 19 and the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena 11 days later.

With a big gap between those two fixtures, it has been reported that Barca are still hoping to arrange high-profile friendlies against Real Madrid and Juventus.

It will be the Catalan giants' first pre-season tour in three years, when also visiting USA and Japan, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Barca also have a friendly pencilled in this month, having previously announced an exhibition match against an A-League All Stars team in Sydney on May 25, less than 48 hours after their match with Villarreal. 

Austin FC moved to the top of the Western Conference in MLS on Wednesday, securing a gritty 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC.

Goals from Ruben Gabrielsen and Diego Fagundez gave Austin the vital three points, with Carlos Vela's response from the penalty spot in the 86th minute providing mere consolation for LAFC.

Gabrielsen put the home side in front in the 13th minute after Fagundez zipped a dangerous corner in, coolly finishing when the ball fell his way.

Josh Wolff's side looked to absorb pressure from LAFC, and Fagundez was able to double their advantage in the 80th minute after he was played through by Sebastian Driussi.

Vela's goal, which made him the third-fastest player to 100 MLS goal involvements (98 games), was not enough for a largely passive LAFC, who could not translate possession into chances of substance. They accumulated a non-penalty expected goals total of 1.12 from the 17 shots aside from Vela's spot-kick.

Austin lead LAFC on goal difference atop the West on 23 points, with FC Dallas remaining on 22 points after the Vancouver Whitecaps came from behind to defeat them 2-1 late on.

The LA Galaxy missed their chance to make up ground, only managing a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United despite Sacha Kljestan putting them ahead in the 83rd minute.

Elsewhere in the West, the Seattle Sounders continued their recovery from a slow start to the season, defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0, while Sporting Kansas City beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a game that saw four red cards in stoppage time.

A Jamiro Monteiro brace helped the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2, as Nashville's strong start at GEODIS Park continued with a 2-1 victory over CF Montreal.

New York City gained ground on the Philadelphia Union with a 2-0 win over DC United, scoring twice in the first half to move within a point of the Eastern Conference leaders, who were held to a goalless draw by Inter Miami.

In Wednesday's early result, Xherdan Shaqiri scored what he thought was a late winner for the Chicago Fire, only for the New York Red Bulls' Patryk Klimala to score in the first minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-3 draw.

FC Dallas placed themselves in the race for top spot in the Western Conference, defeating Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 in the MLS on Saturday.

Three goals in the opening 23 minutes, including a brace from Jesus Ferreira, set the Toros up for a critical three points after slip-ups from both Austin FC and Los Angeles FC.

Douglas Costa's well-taken free-kick in the 67th minute proved to be mere consolation, as the Galaxy failed to break Dallas down and force their way back into the contest.

Dallas now sit second in the West, a point off LAFC, who conceded two penalties in the opening 30 minutes to lose 2-0 to Colorado Rapids.

With the win, the Toros were able to go past Galaxy and Austin, who let slip a 1-0 lead at half-time following Daniel Pereira's red card to lose 2-1 to Real Salt Lake.

There were goals galore elsewhere in the West, with Portland Timbers giving Sporting KC a 7-2 trouncing while Houston Dynamo defeated Nashville SC 2-0. The Vancouver Whitecaps and SJ Earthquakes played out a 3-3 draw.

Elsewhere, Philadelphia Union's 1-1 draw with New York RB has made for up a three-way tie atop the Eastern Conference.

Daniel Gazdag put the Union ahead after some neat combination with Sergio Santos at the top of the penalty area in the 47th minute, but Luquinhas managed to restore parity with his goal in the 66th minute.

They are joined at the top of the East following respective wins for CF Montreal and Orlando City over Charlotte and Toronto FC.

New York City were able to make up ground with their 2-0 win over Columbus Crew and Cincinnati beat Chicago Fire 2-1, while Inter Miami and DC United played out a 2-2 draw. 

 

New York RB momentarily moved to the top of the Eastern Conference in the MLS on Saturday, coming from behind to claim a gritty 2-1 win on the road to the Chicago Fire.

A Patryk Klimala brace secured the win for New York, including a penalty in the 91st minute, as they claimed top spot in the East on goal difference over Philadelphia Union. Both are on 17 points, but Philadelphia are still to play Nashville on Sunday.

Chicago also scored from the penalty spot to hit the lead, with Xherdan Shaqiri converting in the 16th minute after Ashley Fletcher was judged to have handled the ball.

New York regrouped after a weather delay which forced the two sides off, and substitute Klimala eventually restored parity after a fine assist from Luqinhas in the 75th minute.

A clumsy challenge at the death from Miguel Navarro handed New York the chance to snatch an otherwise even contest, and Klimala calmly put his penalty away for the three points.

Orlando City also moved to 17 points with a 2-1 victory over Charlotte FC on Saturday, but have played 10 games in comparison to NYRB's nine and Philadelphia's eight.

Montreal CF and Columbus Crew kept within touching distance after respective wins over Atlanta and DC United meanwhile, and in Saturday's other Eastern Conference matchup, Cincinnati beat Toronto 2-1.

New England Revolution joined Inter Miami as one of the six teams on 10 points in the East, with Damian River and Adam Buksa giving them a 2-0 victory.

In the West meanwhile, Austin FC also came from behind to go top of the conference, beating Texan rival Houston Dynamo 2-1 but in much less dramatic circumstances than NYRB.

Sebastian Ferreira put the Dynamo ahead in only the fifth minute, but Daniel Pereira was able to equalise before the interval.

Sebastian Driussi kept up his recent goal-scoring form and provided the eventual winner for Austin in the 66th minute, finding a pocket of space in the penalty are before rifling into the top corner.

Los Angeles Galaxy lost ground despite dominating the game, losing 1-0 to Real Salt Lake after Marcelo Silva's goal in the 49th minute.

A Mark-Anthony Kaye goal on the counter in injury time secured a 2-0 win for the Colorado Rapids over the Portland Timbers, while Sporting KC and FC Dallas played out a 2-2 draw.

Inter Miami kept in touch with the mid-table in the tightly packed Eastern Conference after beating Atlanta United 2-1 on Sunday.

The home side had to come back from an early deficit after Atlanta's Ronaldo Cisneros broke the deadlock in the 13th minute, but a well-directed DeAndre Yedlin cross found Leonardo Campana for the equaliser 15 minutes later.

Campana then turned provider for the second goal, setting up Bryce Duke for the eventual winner in the 64th minute.

The hosts survived their second VAR review as Atlanta pleaded for a penalty in the closing stages, but it was not to be.

It was a gutsy effort from the Miami side, with just 37 per cent possession – including just 28 per cent in the second half – and seven shots, compared to Atlanta's 20.

Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman kept his side in the contest with six saves, while it was a very different game at the opposite end for Atlanta's Bobby Shuttelworth, who was not credited with a save.

It was an absolute barn-burner when New York City FC hosted Toronto FC, with the home side holding on for a 5-4 win.

Incredibly, Toronto scored the first two goals of the game to lead 2-0 in the 27th minute thanks to a Jesus Jimenez brace, before a Valentin Castellanos reply kept New York in the game, trailing 2-1 at half-time.

In a remarkable start to the second half, New York added three goals in 13 minutes after Keaton Parks' finish made it 4-2 in the 58th.

When Gabriel Pereira made it 5-2 after 75 minutes, it seemed like icing on the cake, but it turned out to be crucial as Toronto snatched back two late goals in the 87th and 91st, ultimately running out of time.

It was much smoother sailing for New York Red Bulls, beating Orlando City 3-0 away from home to move up to second in the Eastern Conference.

Luquinhas delivered the only goal in the first half, before Cristian Casseres doubled the advantage shortly after play resumed, and Lewis Morgan put the finishing touches on with a late penalty.

Meanwhile, an Acosta scored for both teams in Los Angeles FC's 2-1 win against Cincinnati.

Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta broke the deadlock deep into first-half stoppage time, before Los Angeles' Kellyn Acosta equalised in the 59th minute.

Carlos Vela put Danny Musovski in to net the winner for Los Angeles in the 79th minute, holding onto top spot in the Western Conference.

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.

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