Chase Stadium

MATCH RECAP: Inter Miami CF II Secures 3-2 Victory Against NYCFC II in MLS NEXT Pro Season Opener at Chase Stadium


Pair of Academy products find back of the net: Santi Morales, Leo Afonso; Franco Negri notches assist in first competitive match since torn ACL in 2023

Inter Miami CF II earned a 3-2 victory in their season opening match against NYCFC II at Chase Stadium on Sunday. The win featured a smooth finish from the penalty spot, from captain Santiago Morales, and a brace from Academy product, Leo Afonso. The pair of finishes were Afonso’s first professional goals after being drafted by Inter Miami CF in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft. First Team player, Franco Negri recorded a first-class assist in his first appearance since 2023, when he was sidelined with a torn ACL.

The Herons’ starting XI featured Cole Jensen in goal; Israel Boatwright, Tyler Hall, Ryan Sailor and Negri made up the back four; captain Morales, Lawson Sunderland, Ricardo Montenegro started in midfield; forwards Afonso, Jack Pymm, and Shanyder Borgelin, lead the team’s attack. 

Morales, also an Inter Miami CF Academy product, gave Inter Miami CF II the lead with an early goal from the penalty spot in the 9th minute of the match, marking the captain’s first goal of 2024 MLS NEXT Pro campaign. The Herons didn’t stop there; 2024 MLS SuperDraft selection, Afonso had a right-footed shot to place the second goal of the match in the back of the net just two minutes later.

Inter Miami II began the second half with even more scoring opportunities, however, the visiting team would strike back in the 49th minute with a finish by NYCFC forward Jonathan Shore. Inter Miami II kept the high intensity going and remained steady on the ball with great passes and play. In the 74th minute, NYCFC’s Ronald Arevalo leveled the scoreline at 2-2. 

Both teams continued to fight for the match-winner. It was Inter Miami CF II’s Afonso who notched the 83rd minute match-winning securing Inter Miami CF II the 3-2 victory in the season opener.

The Herons will hit the road and travel North next weekend to take on the New York Red Bulls II on Sunday, March 24 at 5 p.m. ET at MSU Soccer Park.