Forward Andrew Wenger officially sworn in as the newest member of Union strike corps

Whirlwind week for newest member of Union attack group

 

Andrew Wenger had played with Ray Gaddis and Aaron Wheeler at Reading United.

The trio are now teammates with the Philadelphia Union.

Wenger was acquired by the Union earlier this week for forward Jack McInerney.

It has been a whirlwind for Wenger, who had scored six career goals for the Montreal Impact.

  • Click the graphic to find out how you can meet Wenger and midfielder Maurice Edu, Sunday!

The 23-year-old forward, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, is now training with his new teammates for a difficult match against Real Salt Lake Saturday at PPL Park. The Lancaster native will have his first chance to play with the Union.

“It’s slowly being figured out as the coaching staff tells me what they expect from me,” Wenger said Wednesday afternoon. “But it’s to press high and be in one of those attacking roles and just get forward with chances and press the other team and, hopefully, win the ball in the attacking third and have those chances.”

Wenger isn’t exactly sure how he’ll be utilized or how many minutes he might receive. But he’s planning on helping his new club in any way possible.

“The goal would be to get on the score sheet as soon as possible,” Wenger said. “Beyond that, it’s the team goal to get three points on the weekend. There’s me, and Sebastien (Le Toux), Vincent (Nogueira), Chaco (Cristian Maidana), they’re all great players. And then there’s Mo (Edu) behind them. If I can help them and bring them the attack and get the ball forward and help win balls for them, you want those guys around the goal. You want them getting marks, and that’s what’s going to improve us and help us be successful.”

Wenger sat out a one-game suspension for the Union’s 2-2 draw at Chicago.

Now he’s available and the technical staff will continue to evaluate his availability leading up to the match against RSL. It’s the first of three tough matches over the next week for the Union.

“I think reasonable expectations would be that he contributes, that he shows his qualities on the field when given that opportunity,” Union manager John Hackworth said of Wenger. “He’s only been in training a couple days with us. We certainly made this move with the idea that he would be a significant player for us. So, we don’t want to push it too fast but we want to make sure that we see how he’s going to fit in with the group and make a determination about how much playing time he’s going to get, and whether that’s the right situation for our team against any of the three opponents we have coming up in the next week.”

With an eye on the future, Hackworth remains very optimistic about Wenger and what he can bring to the club.

“Look, Andrew’s a good soccer player,” Hackworth said. “He can hold the ball up, so he plays with his back to goal. He’s also got some good pace. He’s good with both feet so he gets his shots off with his left foot as much as he does with his right. He’s good in the air. So, those are all the kind of characteristics that you want in a target No. 9. For him, he’s got to take these opportunities that he gets to be on the field and make the most of them. We have to do a good job of providing him with the service and the play that will make him successful but, ultimately, it’s more important that our team is successful.”

What do you think of the addition of Andrew Wenger? Leave a comment below. 

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com