New York City FC II cruised to their first win in team history – and the largest victory in MLS NEXT Pro to date – with a 7-0 demolition of Inter Miami II at Belson Stadium in Queens. The Young Pigeons opened the floodgates in the second half as the team secured their first shutout of the season, and earned three points.
Prior to this match, NYCFC II had been winless in three games: The Young Pigeons drew twice, and lost in penalty shootouts twice; they also lost 3-1 to Toronto last weekend. A lack of both finishing and penalty composure haunted the squad in the first couple of matches; however, that narrative was quickly put to rest against Miami.
John Denis opened the scoring in the 11th minute from the penalty spot. Denis was impressive all afternoon, taking on Miami fullbacks one-on-one and engaging in beautiful interplay down the left-wing. The lead was doubled five minutes later, when Massimo Murania stuck the ball into the bottom right corner. NYCFC II dominated the half, controlling most of the possession and not allowing Miami a chance at goal.
The onslaught came in the second half. In the 56th minute, Denis whipped a ball from the top of the box that found its way into the back of the net off a small touch by Stephen Turnbull. Two minutes later, Pietro Elias played through Murania, who then dinked the ball over the onrushing keeper to make it 4-0. Arguably the goal of the game came in the 67th minute, when Jack Beer cut the ball onto his left foot and finished off a beautiful curling effort.
Elias and Justin Haak dominated the midfield. Miami never had a chance.
Tempers boiled over in the 84th minute, when Miami’s Romeo Beckham was sent off after a frustration foul on Haak. Easily the most recognizable name on the field, Beckham was mostly uninvolved in the game, and seemed lost and confused the whole match as Miami’s attack failed to produce a single shot.
Following Beckham’s dismissal, Julian Gomez and Jonathan Jimenez Vargas both added their finishing touches on a dominant performance and commanding win.
NYCFC II were superior from front to back the entire match. Even though the praise for the win will go mostly to the attack, defender Samuel Owusu deserves to be singled out for his extremely impressive play. Owusu is one to watch—it would not be surprising to see him enter the Senior Team picture. His defensive play and control in possession have MLS written all over it.