International Duty: Herons at the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

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Two Inter Miami First Team and four Inter Miami CF II players, all of them Academy products, represented the club at the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship that took place in Honduras from June 18 through July 3: Noah Allen (USMYNT), Edison Azcona (Dominican Republic), Israel Boatwright (Dominican Republic), Kobi Thomas (Jamaica), Bryan Destin (Haiti) and Dairon Reyes (Cuba).

Let’s take a look at how our players performed at the tournament, in which they had the opportunity to compete to help their respective countries clinch a spot in the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia and the Summer Olympics in 2024.

Noah Allen

Allen and the United States had a tournament to remember. The young Homegrown defender helped his country clinch its third CONCACAF U-20 Championship title, advancing to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia and the Summer Olympics in 2024.

Noah Allen With USMYNT

*Credit U.S. Soccer

Allen, 18, was a fixture in the team’s lineups throughout the competition, making five appearances, including four starts and starting in the final. He even managed to get on the scoreboard in the final against the Dominican Republic on July 3, netting the team’s fourth goal in the 39th minute of the match en route to the title-clinching 6-0 victory.

Edison Azcona and Israel Boatwright

The Dominican Republic, meanwhile, began its participation in the Round of 16 of the competition after qualifying directly to the knockout stages of the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship through a preliminary knockout round that took place in November 2021. Azcona captained the side throughout its historic run at the tournament as it achieved a pair of milestones.

Azcona and Boatwright, 18 and 17 respectively, both started in the team’s debut in the tournament on June 26 against El Salvador. Both players netted in a thrilling matchup, with Boatwright opening the scoring in the sixth minute of play, and Azcona registering an assist and scoring the winner in the 4-5 win for the Dominican Republic in the 78th minute. This marked Boatwright’s international debut with the Dominican Republic as well as his first goal, just a week after scoring his first professional goal with Inter Miami CF II.

Both Inter Miami Academy products then started in the 1-0 win over Jamaica in the quarterfinals match on June 29, which would see Boatwright conclude his participation in the competition as he came off injured. With the win, the Dominican Republic earned a historic 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup berth, as the country qualified for a U-20 World Cup for the first time.

Azcona, however, carried on representing the Herons in the tournament, starting and scoring a second-half equalizer in the 2-2 draw against El Salvador in the semifinals on July 1. The versatile midfielder, who captained the team in the three matches he partook in, then achieved another milestone for his country, scoring with a panenka in the penalty shootout and earning the Dominican Republic its first-ever qualification to the Summer Olympics.

The team went on to fall in the final to Noah Allen’s USMYNT on July 3, but neither Azcona nor Boatwright played in the match due to injury.

Kobi Thomas

The Inter Miami CF II and Academy U-17 midfielder made it all the way through to the quarterfinals with Jamaica, when it fell 1-0 against the Dominican Republic on June 29 and just missed out on a spot in the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Boatwright and Thomas after the quaterfinals match between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica

Thomas, 16, entered the field as a substitute in four out of the team’s five matchups at the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

Bryan Destin

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The 16-year-old was the youngest player at the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, and he left a good impression representing Haiti. Notably, he came on as a substitute in the team’s first group stage match on June 19, notching a 90th minute equalizer to tie 4-4 against Trinidad & Tobago.

Overall, the Inter Miami CF II and Academy U-17 forward started three out of Haiti’s four matches in the competition before getting knocked out by Jamaica in the Round of 16 on June 26.

Dairon Reyes

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The 18-year-old winger was a key part of Cuba’s side that made it to the round of 16 of the competition. Overall, Reyes started and captained his national team in three out of the team’s four matchups before falling 1-0 to Panama in the Round of 16 on June 25.

Allen and Reyes after the group stage match between USA and Cuba