For McInerney, big goal deserved a big celebration
CHESTER, Pa. — When Sheanon Williams saw his 90th-minute cross find the head of Jack McInerney and go into the back of the net for a dramatic 2-1 comeback win over the New England Revolution at PPL Park on Sunday night, he knew something big was about to happen.
“Jack’s always coming out with the best celebrations,” Williams said. “When he scored against the Revolution two years ago and he took off his shirt and he had that nice farmer’s tan, that was probably one of the better ones."
This one was even better.
Following his game-winning goal, McInerney dusted off the ghosts of PPL Park past and launched himself into the River End section, celebrating with the Sons of Ben like he was at Lambeau Field.
Full Highlights: PHI 2, NE 1
“It just kind of happened,” McInerney said. “I remember [2010 Union players] Andrew Jacobson and Nick Zimmerman doing it, so it just kind of hit me in the moment.”
The goal was well worth the celebration. It was, after all, one of the biggest ones of the Union season, as it gave the club their fourth straight win at PPL Park and catapulted them out of ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
“It was awesome,” said Antoine Hoppenot, who was paired with McInerney up top for most of Sunday’s game. “There’s no other way to describe it. We expect that from Jack, though. He’s very underrated with his head. He scores a ton of goals in practice with his head. It’s not a surprise for us to see him score with his head and it’s not a surprise to see him score in the 90th minute.”
And the header would not have been possible without the cross from Williams, who launched a perfect curling ball that went over the head of New England goalkeeper Matt Reis and found McInerney at the back post.
“We’ve been working on crossing and finishing all week,” Williams said. “It’s something we’ve emphasized, to make sure we get services into the box. Gabe [Farfan] had a few good ones, so I tried to get some good ones in. Our forwards made the runs and we scored one.”
For McInerney — who became an immediate starter once John Hackworth replaced Peter Nowak as manager — it was his fourth goal of the season, but his first in the last four games.
So what was that moment like to get back into the scoring column, in such dramatic fashion no less?
“It was what it looked like,” said McInerney, who also drew the penalty kick to set up the team’s first goal. “Just the adrenaline … and for the team to get three points, that’s what it’s all about.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @DaveZeitlin.