Red Bulls crush Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami

HARRISON, N.J. — Lewis Morgan scored three goals for his second career hat trick, Dante Vanzeir tied a league record with four assists and the New York Red Bulls cruised to a 4-0 victory over Inter Miami on Saturday.

Morgan, who played for Inter Miami from 2020-21, gave the Red Bulls (3-1-1) the lead in the 3rd minute with an assist from Vanzeir. New York took a 2-0 lead when Vanzeir again set up Morgan in the 51st minute.

Lewis Morgan passes the ball as Tomas Aviles of Inter Miami (left defends during the Red Bulls’ 4-0 win. Getty Images

Vanzeir notched his third assist on a goal by Wikelman Carmona in the 66th minute and Morgan and Vanzeir teamed up again in the 70th minute to complete the scoring.

Ryan Meara totaled two saves to earn the clean sheet for the Red Bulls in his first start of the season. CJ dos Santos saved one shot in his first start of the season and the second of his career for Inter Miami (3-2-1).

Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara clears the ball in the second half against Inter Miami CF at Red Bull Arena. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Allen appeared to score in the 77th minute for the visitors, but the goal was ruled out after a review.

Lionel Messi, who is nursing a hamstring injury suffered in a 2-2 draw with Nashville SC on March 7, was one of nine Inter Miami players out due to injuries or national duty.

Morgan’s first hat trick came in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 victory over Toronto FC last season. Morgan had seven goals and 12 assists in two seasons with Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi is nursing a hamstring injury. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vanzeir tied the assist record set by the Chicago Fire’s Ante Razov in a 2000 victory over the New England Revolution.

The Red Bulls travel to play Orlando City on Saturday. Inter Miami returns home to play New York City FC on Saturday.

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