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Update: Clarifying Week Ahead in Soccer – Start Times & Messi Effect

Mar 19, 2024
New York Red Bull Logo Upate

In our previous article titled Turmoil: Harrison Braces For Soccer Siege Thurs. 3/21/2024 & Weekend, we let everyone know about three upcoming soccer games at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison NJ including two International friendlies and an MLS clash between the New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami FC which we expected a Messi Effect to sell out the Red Bull Arena. We are issuing this update to correct our expectations on attendance at Saturday's MLS game and provide additional times for the games we inadvertently omitted in the last article.

Game Start Times

Firstly, we'd like to provide the start times for the International games featured this week. Ecuador will face Guatemala on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 8 p.m. Ecuador will be back at the Red Bull Arena on Sunday, March 24, 2024, at 4 p.m. to face off against Italy. We had provided the Ecuador v. Guatemala start time but figured it would not hurt to restate it above again.

The New York Red Bulls will be hosting Inter Miami FC on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at 2 p.m., as previously reported. This match remains a highlight of the week's soccer calendar, promising intense competition and a showcase of talent.

The Messi Effect and Attendance Implications

Our previous article stated that Lionel Messi would be playing in the New York Red Bull v. Inter Miami FC match but that was not accurate. Lionel Messi will not be playing on Saturday, March 23rd due to his call-up to Argentina's national team and a subsequent minor injury which is preventing him from playing in either team. This development will undoubtedly affect attendance expectations, as many fans anticipated witnessing Messi's magic live. Despite this, the presence of renowned players such as Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba in Inter Miami FC's lineup ensures that the match will still draw a significant crowd, likely surpassing typical attendance figures for New York Red Bulls games before the Messi Effect.

Weather Considerations and Past Performances

The weather forecast indicates heavy rain for the Saturday match, potentially mirroring conditions similar to the New York Red Bulls' 2024 Home opening game against FC Dallas on March 9, 2024, which proceeded despite the rain and concluded with a 2-1 victory for the Red Bulls. Fans can expect that, regardless of weather conditions, both teams will be eager to display their skills and fight for a win.

As we correct and update, it's clear that the upcoming days will be filled with high stakes, high spirits, and anxiety.  From the international friendlies featuring Ecuador, Guatemala, and Italy to the domestic MLS showdown between the New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami FC, soccer fans are in for a treat. Rain or shine, with or without Messi, the beautiful game goes on, offering moments of joy, passion, and unforgettable soccer action. It will also generate traffic, inconvenience, and anxiety for some of Harrison's residents

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