With a 4-1 victory over Philadelphia Union Tuesday, Miami advanced to the CONCACAF Leagues Cup final to put the club in position to win its first trophy in four seasons of competition.
Messi’s goal against Philadelphia was his ninth in just six games since joining Inter, scoring in each of his six matches so far to sit atop the Leagues Cup scoring chart.
After just a few weeks at Inter Miami, Messi is already third on the club’s all-time scoring list and is just 20 goals behind compatriot Gonzalo Higuain at the top.
After Josef Martinez opened the scoring for Miami, Messi scored in the 20th minute with a low rocket from more than 30 yards out. His shot skipped past the outreached fingers of Union keeper Andre Blake and bounced off the right post into the net.
Spanish veteran Jordi Alba added a third Miami goal in first half stoppage time, his first goal in four appearances since recently joining Inter, before Alejandro Bedoya pulled one back for Philadelphia with 17 minutes to go.
David Ruiz put an end to any thoughts of a late Union comeback with a fourth goal for Miami after 84 minutes.
In the other Leagues Cup semifinal Tuesday, Nashville SC defeated Monterrey 2-0 to set up a final against Miami.
The trophy will be decided when the two teams face each other August 19 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Leagues Cup, an annual tournament between MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX, was expanded this year to include all teams in each league.