Inter Miami CF II kicked off its 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season on Sunday, March 26 against the Chicago Fire FC II, suffering a 1-3 defeat in its home opener at DRV PNK Stadium. Inter Miami CF Homegrown Edison Azcona scored the team’s first goal of the season.
Federico Higuaín made his first appearance as the Inter Miami CF II Head Coach after serving as an assistant coach for the 2022 season. The starting XI featured a combination of First Team players and Inter Miami CF Academy graduates with Nick Marsman in goal, Harvey Neville, Ryan Sailor, Aimé Mabika, Ezequiel Abadia-Reda managing the back line, and Joseph Convers, Benjamin Cremaschi, Miles Perkovick, Jake LaCava, Bryan Destin and Edison Azcona leading the attack.
The match saw three Inter Miami CF II players make their professional fútbol debuts in Abadia-Reda, Convers and Nykolas Sessock, who entered as a second-half substitute. The match also marked LaCava’s first appearance with Inter Miami CF II.
Inter Miami opened the match with two aggressive attacks, a pair of shots by LaCava and Destin sailing just wide. Marsman then kept the scoreline level with a great stop on a shot by Chicago left winger Missael Rodriguez.
The high intensity tempo continued with both teams putting pressure in each other's halves before Chicago midfielder, Matteo Kidd, gave his team the first goal in the match, assisted by Luka Prpa.
Inter Miami climbed right back into the match when Cremaschi picked up the ball in the final third and found Azcona making a run in behind the Chicago Fire II defense and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Inter Miami CF II made four second-half substitutes on Sunday as Tyler Hall, David Ruiz, and Sessock entered the match after the halftime intermission followed by Kobi Thomas in the 77th minute.
Inter Miami II continued to push in the second half but Chicago would strike again with two goals; Billy Hency gave the visitors their second lead of the match in the 50th minute and Alex Monis made it 1-3 in the 80th minute. The scoreline held until the final whistle with the visitors claiming a 1-3 victory.
Up next, Inter Miami II is set to hit the road to face Philadelphia Union II at Subaru Park at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2.