Messi among 3 MLS players in Argentina squad

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Lionel Messi was among three MLS-based players to be called up by Argentina on Thursday for the opening rounds of South American World Cup qualifying.

Thiago Almada of Atlanta United and Alan Velasco of FC Dallas were also included by coach Lionel Scaloni for games against Ecuador and Bolívia in September.

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The 36-year-old Messi joined Inter Miami in July and has already scored 11 goals for the club.

World Cup champion Argentina will take on Ecuador at home on Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires, before playing Bolivia away in La Paz five days later.

Argentina squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Walter Benítez (PSV Eindhoven), Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa), and Juan Musso (Atalanta).

Defenders: Lucas Esquivel (Athletico Paranaense), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest), Nicolás Otamendi (Benfica), Germán Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Marcos Senesi (Bournemouth) and Nicolás Tagliafico (Lyon).

Midfielders: Thiago Almada (Atlanta United), Facundo Buonanotte (Brighton), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Enzo Fernández (Chelsea), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Leandro Paredes (AS Roma), Guido Rodríguez (Real Betis) and Bruno Zapelli (Athletico Paranaense).

Forwards: Julián Álvarez (Manchester City), Lucas Beltran (Fiorentina), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Ángel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Ángel Di María (Benfica), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United), Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) and Alan Velasco (FC Dallas).

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