Union striker adds scoring boost with playoffs approaching
A scorer’s worst nightmare is when they’re not able to do so. Former Philadelphia stars like Allen Iverson and Brian Westbrook can attest to that. They always want to see their names among the league leaders.
For Union striker Jack McInerney, it’s been an agonizing past four months for him trying to find the back of the net. McInerney scored his first goal since June 1 last Saturday, tying D.C. United in the 90th minute and keeping the Union alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 1-1 tie.
“It’s just a lot of relief, and, not stress,” said McInerney. “It feels like a lot of frustration just lifted off my shoulders.”
McInerney was an early-season favorite to win MLS MVP after scoring 10 goals in the first 14 games and leading the Union into first in the East. Then, he went through 14 goal-less appearances before breaking the drought last weekend.
“I’m really happy for Jack [McInerney],” said manager John Hackworth. “For him to come off the bench and get a goal to get the monkey off his back is huge. It was a really important point for us on the road. It’s great for Jack.”
The Union sit in a three-way tie with Montreal and Chicago for fourth in the East with 46 points. With just two games left, they have huge games on the road against Montreal Saturday before finishing the season against top-seeded Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park.
“I think if Jack [McInerney] starts getting hot again — you saw how deadly he was in the beginning of the season — it’s going to be a very dangerous team with Conor [Casey] up top,” said forward Antoine Hoppenot. “I think we’re a dangerous team if we we’re able to find another guy who can put the ball in the back of the net.”
The Union play at Montreal Saturday at 2 p.m. in a match being shown live on Comcast SportsNet.