Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF battle in 2023 Leagues Cup final

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It all comes down to this moment between Nasville SC and Inter Miami CF. This Saturday, August 19, starting at 9:00 pm ET (7:00 pm CDMX), GEODIS Park will host the final of Leagues Cup 2023 between Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF. The match will be broadcasted in both the United States and Mexico through **Apple TV** - MLS Season Pass.

Inter Miami CF

This edition of Leagues Cup marks the moment of a true revival for Tata Martino's team, which, bolstered by the arrivals of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba, managed to completely change the team’s dynamic compared to previous performance so far in the Eastern Conference of the MLS, where they are currently last.

The Herons kicked off the dream of winning their first title on July 21 at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale in the tournament's opening match against Cruz Azul with a special twist: the iconic debut of Messi as a Miami player. In a game which will live long in memory, the Argentine came onto the pitch in the second half, worked his magic, and with an unstoppable free-kick, secured the victory for his team.

Since then, the march of the David Beckham-owned outfit has been relentless. Atlanta United FC, Orlando City, FC Dallas, Charlotte FC, and Philadelphia Union all fell to the rejuvenated Inter Miami, leading them to the final of Leagues Cup. Only FC Dallas managed to challenge the Florida team in a match that ended 4-4 and was decided by penalties in favor of the Herons to secure their spot in the quarter-finals.

Messi, the key to Inter Miami's quest for their first title

Powered by the arrival of the 2022 World Cup winner, Inter Miami stands as a serious contender to lift the title this Saturday. Why was Messi crucial to the Herons' campaign in this Leagues Cup? The answer is simple : the Argentine scored in every match played in this tournament and contributed a total of nine goals in the six games played by the Fort Lauderdale team.

Winning Leagues Cup 2023 would have a double reward for Messi. On one hand, as the captain, he would have the honor of lifting the first trophy in the history of the Miami club, but it also means he’ll become the player with the most titles won in the history of football. This would be with a total of 44 trophies, surpassing the Brazilian Dani Alves.

"It would be something incredible for me and for the fans. Winning this Leagues Cup would be beautiful. Winning titles is something that helps a lot. This club is relatively new, it's a young club, and having the chance to give them their first title would be something beautiful," he said before the final in his press conference.

Nashville SC

Facing off against the Herons will be Nashville SC. Operating quietly, yet fueled by a strong Rock and Roll mentality, "The Music City" is determined to put on a memorable show in this Leagues Cup. And what better setting for the grand finale than GEODIS Park – a stage that couldn't be more fitting.

Led on the field by Hany Mukhtar, MLS MVP, the Tennessee side came into the final with a record of three wins, two draws, and one loss.

Nashville's journey to the final was, fair to say, a bigger test compared to Miami's. Gary Smith's team began with a 2-1 victory against Colorado Rapids, but then suffered a 4-3 defeat against Toluca FC in their second appearance, which meant they had to wait on other results in their group to qualify for the knockouts.

In the knockout phase, Nashville had to grit down on two occasions to progress. Both in the Round of 32 and Round of 16, they drew 1-1 against FC Cincinnati and 2-2 against Club América, respectively, leading to penalty shootouts to decide their fate.

Once in the quarter-finals, the team captained by Walker Zimmerman displayed their finest form in the tournament . First with a 5-0 thrashing of Minnesota United FC, and then with a resounding 2-0 victory against CF Monterrey, the last remaining LIGA MX team in the competition.

Mukhtar and Surridge, Nashville SC's goal-scoring threats

The Tennessee side has demonstrated phenomenal offensive power in the tournament, scoring a total of 15 goals in 6 matches. Much of their success can be attributed to the performances of two of their key players: Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge.

The 28-year-old German holds the mantle of leadership on the pitch, and his current status as the MLS MVP serves as evidence of that. In the six matches played in this Leagues Cup, the former player of Hertha Berlin and Benfica contributed 2 goals and 5 assists.

"The ultimate goal for any player is always to win titles," explained Nashville's number 10 in a press conference before the final. "This is a new tournament. We've been doing very well, and we're excited to play another match at GEODIS Park. We want to win, and doing it in front of our fans would be something unique," he added.

As for Sam Surridge, he's another impactful player in Nashville's campaign. Like Lionel Messi, the Englishman scored in every match he played, tallying three goals in three matches since his debut in the round of 16 against Club América, including a crucial header in the ninth minute of extra time. He then found the net against Cincinnati in the quarter-finals and Monterrey in the semi-finals.


  • DATE: August 19
  • TIME: 9:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm CDMX
  • HOW TO WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass