Inter Miami CF II drew Philadelphia Union II 2-2 at DRV PNK Stadium on Sunday. The Union earned the extra point in penalty kicks (4-3).
Inter Miami CF’s starting XI featured CJ dos Santos in goal; Noah Allen, Farid Sar-Sar, Ian Fray, and Nykolas Sessock manning the defense; captain Abel Caputo managing the midfield with Lawson Sunderland and Braxton Najib; and Jake LaCava, Lorenzo D’Agostini, and Lucas Meek leading the attack. The start was the first for First Team Homegrown signing Ian Fray after back-to-back injuries sidelined the promising young talent from match competition for two years.
Inter Miami CF II opened the scoring in the 26th minute of the match as Abel Caputo played Meek on the outside. Meek calmly played the ball back for Sessock who hit a curling service into the six-yard box to find a streaking D’Agostini beat a Philadelphia Union II player to the service and find the back of the net. The goal marks the 17-year-old Academy product's second goal of 2023 in MLS NEXT Pro.
Two minutes later, the Union earned a corner kick. D’Agostini got his head to it but the clearance fell to the feet of Philadelphia Union midfielder Maike Villero, who cut inside with his first touch and took a right-footed strike with his next. Dos Santos did well to get a tip on the strike, but it wasn’t enough to keep the scoresheet clean. The goal leveled the score at 1-1.
The home side wasted no time getting back into the attacking third. In the 33rd minute, D’Agostini was again wreaking havoc in front of the Philadelphia Union II goal. The play started with a fast paced overlapping run made by LaCava. The Connecticut native played the ball to D’Agostini who got a first touch towards goal, but his shot was denied by the Philadelphia goalkeeper, Holden Trent. The scoreline remained and the team’s entered the halftime break 1-1.
Inter Miami CF II began the second half with the same energy and saw a trio of opportunities in the first few minutes but once again, the scoreline remained at 1-1 courtesy of twenty three year old Union keeper, Trent.
In the 76th minute, the Union were the ones to notch the go ahead goal to give the visitors the 2-1 lead. Attacker Stefan Stojanovich finished a cross from teammate Anthony Ramirez, marking Stojanovich’s third goal of the season.
Inter Miami responded moments later to draw the score level again at 2-2 showing the resilience of this young squad. Meek received the ball inside Philadelphia Union II’s 18 yard box, took one touch to settle and place a smooth finish past Trent.
The pressure continued from Inter Miami CF II, who earned chances in the 84th and 87th minutes respectively, almost tallying the winning goal on both occasions. First, it was second half substitute, Kobi Thomas who whipped in a perfectly placed free kick to find Meek whose diving header was stopped by Trent. Three minutes later D’Agostini received the ball on a full sprint down the right wing, he broke free from his defender and played the ball central to a wide open Thomas at the top of the box. The shot by Thomas was denied by the Union keeper, who had nine saves on the night, and the match concluded 2-2 at the end of regulation.
Sessock, Lawson, and Johnson converted their penalty kicks, but the Union went four for four and added another massive save from Trent to earn the extra point. Inter Miami CF II hit the road for next weekend's clash against the New York Red Bulls II. The match will kickoff at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 21 at MSU Soccer Park.