Inter Miami II sits one point out of a playoff spot heading into the final day of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro regular season. With Decision Day looming, the squad is doing everything in its power to push for a playoff ticket in the Eastern Conference.
Forward Shanyder Borgelin spoke with MLSNEXTPro.com about the anticipation of the contest and how the squad has come together ahead of their final match of the regular season.
“Our mentality is just trying to win, win at all costs, no matter what, whether it is a pretty win or a dirty win. We're just trying to win,” Borgelin said. “We spoke to the team, and the team's mentality is trying to be confident in anything that we do and fight to the last whistle.”
Borgelin scored his 14th goal of the campaign in Inter Miami II’s midweek contest against TFC II, a seven-goal thriller that saw his side come out on top 4-3. The victory kept their postseason hopes alive but leaves Inter Miami II in a tough, but manageable position heading into the final day. The win proved that Inter Miami II can dig deep enough to get the job done, but there is an undeniable discomfort in needing some additional help to get over the playoff line. Controlling what they can will be the key in staying calm through it all.
“First and foremost, all we really need to do is get a W against Chicago on Sunday. And we just have to kind of bank on a few teams losing,” said the 20-year-old Philadelphia Union academy product.
Borgelin’s debut season in MLS NEXT Pro has seen him flourish in the striker position, and he leads the team in goal contributions by a wide margin. That is all thanks in part to establishing himself in one of the most potent one-two punches across the league.
Like any striker, part of Borgelin's success depends on service, and his partnership with Romeo Beckham has blossomed into one of the great duos across the entire league.
"We’re boys, so we're always with each other. We’re always joking around with each other and especially in games and training. We're actually doing a lot of film and we try to look at each other's tendencies and try to replicate them in a game.” Borgelin said. “We actually do a lot of things a lot of team events .. when you build that chemistry, it kind of transitions over to the field.”
Zooming out a bit, Borgelin also credits the atmosphere at the Inter Miami II headquarters for unlocking his breakout season.
“It's been amazing because the team brought me in with open arms, coaches that are working on me every single day during training and even in games… to be able to help my team, to be in this position and for myself, to put myself in a great position with 14 goals… it’s a blessing.”
He'll need to be in full effect to give his side the best chance at an inaugural playoff appearance and can not overlook Chicago Fire FC II, Sunday's opponent. Though the windy city-based club has already been eliminated from playoff contention, it has rattled off some big wins in recent weeks and has likely already keyed in on a plan to try to shut Borgelin down.
"Obviously, it's not going to be easy, and Chicago knows what we're going to do and because we're gonna need everyone's everyone's legs, even if they're tired, everyone's gonna have to do their role and just grind to the last whistle and come up with a win.
"So by now, everyone's just kind of focused and dialed in,"
Borgelin and Inter Miami II's playoff status watch is one of several compelling stories to be found on MLS NEXT Pro's inaugural Decision Day. The critical Chicago Fire II - Inter Miami II matchup, along with all other Eastern Conference finales, kicks off at 3 p.m. ET and will be available to stream at MLSNEXTPro.com