Coming off arguably the biggest sports deal in American history, Lionel Messi's move to Major League Soccer was seismic for the sport's growth in the U.S. However, the Argentine superstar's challenge at Inter Miami CF will come with bigger expectations in a year where he will compete for trophies at club and even international level, with Argentina playing in the Copa America on American soil.

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Messi's Miami era couldn't have started any better. In his first two months last season, he's already helped them win one title (the Leagues Cup tournament that featured all MLS and Liga MX teams) and helped his side make the final of the U.S. Open Cup, where they lost 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo.

As for the MLS Cup? Messi & Co. will look to achieve that now in his second season. The expectations are now bigger with him playing in his first full season but will be alongside some new names, which includes former Barcelona teammate and one of the best strikers of his generation, Luis Suárez.

Despite not winning a single game in the preseason, Messi will look to help his side win their maiden MLS Cup.

So far, Messi's tally is:

Games played: 5

Goals: 5

Assists: 2

In all, Messi could win four trophies in his second MLS season:

Leagues Cup

U.S. Open Cup


Concacaf Champions Cup: In the quarterfinals

Check in here as ESPN tracks all of Messi's appearances for Inter Miami and provides instant analysis and reaction.

March 13: Inter Miami 3-1 Nashville SC

Messi notched up a goal and an assist as Inter Miami defeated Nashville 3-1 (and 5-3 on aggregate) to advance to the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions Cup.

The teams came into the game tied 2-2 after the first leg, but Luis Suárez scored at the end of a nice combination with Messi before the World Cup winner scored one of his own with a cool finish from the center of the penalty area to give Miami a two-goal aggregate cushion.

Messi was on the field to begin the second half, but Miami coach Gerardo Martino substituted him with Robert Taylor five minutes after the restart. It was unclear why Messi, who was rested in his team's 3-2 loss to CF Montreal in MLS on Sunday, was pulled so early in the second half.

March 7: Nashville SC 2-2 Inter Miami

Messi got on the scoresheet again as he helped Inter Miami tie Nashville 2-2 in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup round of 16.

Nashville went 2-0 up but Luis Suarez provided an assist for Messi in the 52nd minute as No. 10 used his left foot to squeeze the ball between goalkeeper Joe Willis' outstretched fingers from just outside the box.

Suarez then tied the score with a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time as he headed home a cross from former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets.


Messi scores twice as Inter Miami thrash Orlando SC

Lionel Messi scores two goals in the second half, helping Inter Miami cruise to a 5-0 victory over Orlando SC.

Partners in crime at Barcelona, Messi and Luis Suárez wound back the clock on Saturday as the duo each scored a brace in as Inter Miami routed Florida rivals Orlando City 5-0 at Chase Stadium.

The pair played together for six years at Barcelona and were back to their devastating best. Messi had consecutive goals during a quick span early in the second half to take his tally for the season to three goals in as many games, while Suárez added two assists to his two strikes.

Feb. 25: LA Galaxy 1-1 Inter Miami

It didn't take long for Messi to notch his first MLS goal of the season, scoring the equalizer in the 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy.

Inter Miami looked all but certain to record their first loss of the campaign before Messi and Jordi Alba -- that classic combination -- orchestrated a goal in the second minute of added time.

Picking up the ball in midfield, Messi and Alba exchanged a series of passes before the 36-year-old Argentine poked home from 8 yards out.

Well, well, well. What a start for the Argentina superstar in South Florida.

It took Messi less than a half to notch his first assist of the season, dribbling into the heart of the RSL defense before a gentle layoff for Robert Taylor, who cut through and finished across Zac MacMath.

Oh, and there was a rude bit of dribbling over an RSL player who seemed to be injured: nice moves, Lio. The clip lit the internet on fire and helped mask a rather backs-against-the-wall second half for the Herons, who held firm despite waves of attacks until a neat counterattack involving Messi and Luis Suárez was converted in style by Diego Gómez.

All in all, Inter Miami have three points in the bag from their opener.