Inter Miami CF (5W-13L-3D, 18 points) earned a hard-fought point on the road against D.C. United on Saturday night. Academy products and Homegrown players Benjamin Cremaschi and Noah Allen scored their first MLS goals of their careers in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Audi Field, marking the first time that two Academy products scored in an MLS match. Additionally, six Academy products made it onto the pitch to help the team achieve the result, the most in an MLS fixture in Club history.
Drake Callender started in goal; Ian Fray, Sergii Kryvtsov and Noah Allen started in central defense; David Ruiz and Dixon Arroyo anchored the midfield with Benjamin Cremaschi and Robert Taylor flanking them as wingbacks; Nicolás Stefanelli and Rodolfo Pizarro started in attack just below striker and captain Josef Martínez.
Inter Miami II defender Israel Boatwright and midfielder Lawson Sunderland featured on the bench on short-term agreements from the Club’s MLS NEXT Pro team, Inter Miami CF II. Notably, nine of the 20 players on the matchday roster came up through the Club’s development pathway: Allen, Edison Azcona, Boatwright, Shanyder Borgelin, Cremaschi, Fray, Harvey Neville, Ruiz and Sunderland.
The match started with an even back and forth with both sides in search of creating danger in attack. In the 29th minute of action, however, Inter Miami was forced to make an early first substitution in the proceedings when Boatwright replaced the injured Stefanelli to make the second MLS appearance of his career.
Callender then made a crucial intervention before the half, with the Inter Miami shot stopper blocking Chistian Benteke’s attempt in a one on one opportunity in the 38th minute for the match to head into a break without goals on the scoreboard.
Inter Miami started the second half on the front foot and was rewarded in the 59th minute when Cremaschi scored the opener. Cremaschi drove forward in the opponent’s third before laying a pass off to Taylor on the right wing, who then dribbled past a defender to enter the box before serving a ball back for Cremaschi, who calmly took a touch on the edge of the box before unleashing a right-footed curler to the far post to send the ball to the back of the net to put the team ahead 0-1. The goal was the first of his career in MLS for Cremaschi, while the assist was the fourth for Taylor this 2023 regular season, who’s now tied for most assists on the team this campaign.
The hosts, however, responded quickly and found the equalizer minutes after in the 65th minute when forward Taxiarchis Fountas tied the match at 1-1.
The high-intensity minutes of the match continued, with Inter Miami reclaiming the lead just three minutes after through a free-kick from Allen. The Pembroke Pines native appeared to be sending a curled left-footed cross into the box from the free-kick opportunity, with the ball bouncing once in the center of the box before making its way to the back of the net for Inter Miami to go up 1-2. The goal was also the first for Allen in his MLS career, marking the first time two Inter Miami Academy products scored in an MLS fixture.
D.C. was then able to equalize again in the 77th minute when second-half substitute Nigel Robertha scored after being assisted with a low cross inside the box.
Inter Miami then achieved another milestone for the Club in the 87th minute when Azcona came on for Martínez, as six Academy products were on the pitch during an MLS game for the first time in Club history: Allen, Azcona, Boatwright, Cremaschi, Fray and Ruiz.
Subsequently, Callender once again was pivotal in the dying moments of the match, making two key stops to deny attempts from Benteke in the 88th and 89th minutes.
The score remained unmoved throughout the remaining minutes and Inter Miami claimed an important point on the road against D.C. United with a 2-2 draw, the third consecutive one for the team.
“We had five [Academy products] on the field, and we finished with six, and it wasn’t because I was coaching the academy. I'm so proud, I'm so happy to give those players the opportunity. They had DPs on the field, and we had the [Academy products], and the kids competed,” said Interim Head Coach Javier Morales.
Inter Miami will now continue its road trip next weekend, with the team traveling to Missouri to take on St. Louis CITY SC for the first time when the teams face off at CITYPARK at 8:30 p.m. ET.
DC - 45%
MIA - 55%
DC - 16
MIA - 11
DC - 4
MIA - 7
DC - 6
MIA - 2
DC - 14
MIA - 12