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Lionel Messi suffers first defeat in Inter Miami colors while Wayne Rooney parts ways with D.C. United

<i>Sam Navarro/USA Today/Reuters</i><br/>Lionel Messi suffered his first defeat for Inter Miami.
Sam Navarro/USA Today/Reuters
Lionel Messi suffered his first defeat for Inter Miami.

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Lionel Messi suffered his first defeat for Inter Miami on Saturday, succumbing to a 1-0 loss against FC Cincinnati which ended the club’s hopes of reaching the playoffs.

Messi had missed Miami’s last four games due to injury and the club faltered in his absence, losing two and drawing two of its fixtures.

He returned to the field for just over half an hour on Saturday but was unable to prevent Cincinnati from taking the lead after 78 minutes thanks to Álvaro Barreal’s strike.

“His injury is healed, but his rhythm was just off,” Miami’s head coach Gerardo Martino said, according to ESPN. “He hasn’t played much, that’s why I only played him 35 minutes.”

Miami has won eight times with Messi in the side since he has joined the club, and just once with him absent.

The Argentine will now join up with his international squad for its World Cup qualifying matches against Paraguay on October 13 and Peru on October 18.

Elsewhere in Major League Soccer, Wayne Rooney left his position as head coach of D.C. United, the club announced on Saturday following a 2-0 victory over New York City FC, after the two parties “mutually agreed to part ways.”

The former England and Manchester United forward was appointed head coach last July after a two-year spell at the helm of English Championship club Derby County.

He failed to reach the MLS playoffs in his first and only season in charge, and finished with a record of 10 wins, 10 draws and 14 losses.

Rooney first joined D.C. United as a player in 2018 and made 48 appearances for the team during the final chapters of his playing career.

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