The former Barcelona teammates both started last Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Toronto FC, but then left late in the first half and didn’t travel with the team for Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC.
The leg injury to Messi, who also missed Miami’s loss in Atlanta 10 days ago, has been described as an old scar tissue problem, while Alba continues to deal with muscle soreness.
When asked Tuesday about how the decisions regarding Messi’s availability are made, Martino said it’s a true team effort.
“In this case, we sit with him asking how he feels,” Martino said. “Maybe other players, one makes a decision, but here we will make a decision we are in agreement over.
“Here, there are questions. The player, the [U.S. Open Cup] final, and what comes after. These three scenarios have to be evaluated; it is not just about the next game. Risk is always there, but we try to decrease the margin of risk.”
That risk level, Martino admitted, is going to be assessed a little differently because of what is riding on Wednesday’s result.
“If it wasn’t a final, we wouldn’t take any risk, but because it is a final, there is a chance we take that risk,” Martino added.