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NYCFC to play Inter Miami next week?

A reputable rumor has New York City traveling to Florida to play Inter Miami on November 10.

Inter Miami defender Jordi Alba (left) and forward Lionel Messi (middle) at DRV PNK Stadium | Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Updated 8:40 am: New York City FC and Inter Miami confirmed that the two sides will play a friendly that celebrates Lionel Messi winning his eighth Ballon d’Or. You can read more here.

In a bonker-balls bit of breaking news tweeted rumor, New York City FC might jet down to Florida next week to face Inter Miami at DRV PNK Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale on November 10.

You read that right: Two teams that finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table, and whose 2023 season officially ended almost two weeks ago, might play a meaningless kick-around that could nonetheless attract a global audience should one Lionel Messi be on the game-day lineup card.

The source of the rumor is the Miami Herald’s Michelle Kaufman, an ace journalist who doesn’t deal in cheap gossip. We sit up and take note when she posts a tweet with a nudge-nudge-hint-hint that concerns #NYCFC:

There’s some logic to holding the game, at least from the point of view of Inter Miami. The Boys in Pink were scheduled to travel to China yesterday for a quick barnstorming tour with stops in Qingdao and Chengdu, but the trip was called off at the eleventh hour “due to death of former Chinese Premier Li Kequiang.”

A last-minute friendly could help give the Inter Miami players something to do — and, possibly, go some way to offset the financial hit that the team and promoter Never Say Never presumably took when the trip to China was canceled. 

Never Say Never, indeed: A tidy, low-stakes game of heron pink vs sky blue featuring a certain Ballon d’Or winner should top up the coffers of all vested parties.

Will NYCFC play Inter Miami? Stranger things have happened, although an out-of-season game will go towards the top of the list of unexpected matches.

Maybe a better question is: Can NYCFC play Inter Miami? 

Are New York City’s players obligated to return to Gotham if sporting director David Lee flicks on the Bat-Signal? Will head coach Nick Cushing cancel the apple-picking trip with his family we will assume he planned for next week? 

More seriously, NYCFC announced their 2024 roster moves on Monday, and First Team players Braian CufréAlfredo MoralesMatías Pellegrini, and Stephen Turnbull are no longer with the club. 

It all sounds more than a little sketchy, but in Michelle Kauffmann we trust. 

We will update this post as new information becomes available.