When his name is called, Jack McInerney is always ready.
And he seems to produce immediately.
Good things just tend to follow this savvy 17-year-old rookie, the No. 7 overall pick by the Philadelphia Union in the MLS SuperDraft.
“I know what my job is, and that’s to play smart,” said McInerney, who has one goal this season. “I’m staying fit and doing what I can to help the club. I have learned so much from the technical staff and my teammates. I was very happy when Philadelphia drafted me, and I wanted to come in and work hard.”
He’s done that and more.
McInerney has earned valuable minutes from Team Manager Peter Nowak.
During those minutes, McInerney has been more than solid.
“I always think I can improve my game,” he said. “I have worked extremely hard every day to work on my skills so I can continue to help this club.”
McInerney joined the Union from Cobb Futbol Club and the U-17 U.S. Men’s National Team.
McInerney appeared in all four games for the U.S. in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, scoring two goals and helping the squad to the Round of 16.
In April of 2009 at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Tijuana, Mexico, McInerney's strong play on offense led the Americans to convincing wins over Cuba, Canada and Honduras. McInerney opened the CONCACAF tournament with two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win over Cuba. Then he scored the first two goals of the game in a 4-2 victory against Canada and had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Honduras.
The jump to MLS was a steep one. But it’s also one that McInerney has embraced.
“I knew there would be a learning curve,” said McInerney, who was a member of the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency program since the fall of 2007. “I never came in with the idea that I knew everything. Just the opposite. I wanted to learn, and I feel like I have learned so much since I got here.”
Through 14 games and friendlies against Celtic F.C. and Manchester United, McInerney has gained a plethora of experience.
It will continue through this inaugural season.
“It has been a lot of fun for me,” said McInerney. “I take my job very seriously. I try to have fun, too. When you’re playing well and executing, the sport of soccer can be extremely fun.”
Can’t argue with that logic.
After the Union visit the Harrisburg City Islanders for another friendly this Tuesday, Philadelphia will host the New England Revolution on July 31 at PPL Park. At some point in the match, look for McInerney’s name to be called with positive things soon to follow.