Toronto FC was minutes away at snapping a 10-game winless streak.
However, Union forward Jack McInerney had better plans of keeping his goal scoring hot streak alive and in doing so, allowed the Union to forge a 1-1 road draw in Toronto.
In stoppage time, McInerney took the lone opportunity he had all game and buried a low driven ball past Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik. The goal nullified one in the 65th minute from Toronto FC academy product Jonathan Osorio who broke past a Union defender and placed a blistering header past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
With the way this game was played, the stats should’ve focused on a 10-man Toronto (1-7-5, eight points) – who went down after defender Doneil Henry picked up a second yellow on a found from behind on Danny Cruz – earning its first win since March 9, in a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
Instead, McInerney stole the show with a better stat line, scoring his 10th of the season, returning him as co-leader for the most goals in Major League Soccer.
Even better, McInerney now has 22 goals in 74 matches played for the Union (5-5-4, 19 points) and the count is still out on just how many have come via last second thrillers.
“Every single game he just finds a way to get on the board,” Union manager John Hackworth said of McInerney, the reigning MLS Player of the Month, recently added to the provisional roster for the U.S. men's national team ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. “We didn’t play our best soccer and I don’t think Jack was in the best form early in the game and he was getting frustrated…but he kept his nose down and waited for his opportunity and he just continues to score.”
And of a possible national team call-up, which would be McInerney’s first for the senior roster?
“Anytime a young player [can continue to remain consistent] especially after all of the notoriety Jack has received, I hope it gets the attention of the national team.”
This was the first game in quite sometime in which a Union team, customarily known for creating a wealth of chances was unable to generate any serious threat, specifically in a lackluster first half. The second half found more pressure on Toronto’s defense primarily down the right side of the pitch from midfielder Danny Cruz and deep runs from outside fullbacks Sheanon Williams and Raymon Gaddis.
VIEW: FULL MATCH STATISTICS
The match is one that has encompassed three games in an eight day period for the past two weeks for the Union. This week doesn’t get any easier as on Wednesday the club will the Columbus Crew (7:30 p.m. purchase tickets), who sit just below the Union in the Eastern Conference standings. The team plans to stay active during the international break as well with matches against USL-PDL affiliate Reading on June 7 (7 p.m.), a U.S. Open Cup fourth round match against D.C. United on June 12 (7:30 p.m.), and a meeting with USL affiliate Harrisburg on June 18 (7:30 p.m.).
The Union will return to MLS play on June 23 with a home match against the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park (5 p.m., purchase tickets).
“They threw everything they could at us early and we certainly weathered a big storm there in the first half,” said Hackworth. “Full credit to our guys who fought back and even though it wasn’t pretty it was effective. But to get one back here like we did today, it’s good for us.”
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org