Jack McInerney continues to prove why the Union used a first-round pick to select him in the MLS SuperDraft.
Four days after scoring a huge goal in the Union’s 2-1 win at New England, McInerney notched the game-winner in a 1-0 win against Chivas de Guadalajara Wednesday night at PPL Park.
The No. 7 overall selection in the draft is stating quite a case for increased playing time.
Next up is a match against the visiting Kansas City Wizards on Saturday.
“I want to be in there as much as possible to help the club,” said McInerney, who scored in the 48th minute against Chivas. “I feel good out there. I was fortunate to get a goal against New England and it’s good to carry over the momentum into a friendly. I want to keep it going and keep us going on the winning track.”
The 18-year-old McInerney has primarily been utilized as a substitute, but has shown plenty of ability when on the field. For the rookie, it was nice to get some added playing time against Chivas.
“Absolutely, any time you get experience in a game, it will help,” said McInerney. “I felt very good. I have been training hard and I feel like I’m ready whenever they need me. I feel like I’m getting better and improving all the time.”
[inline_node:286842]McInerney has a knack for making things happen.
His teammates have noticed, too.
“Jack seems to always be around the ball,” said rookie Danny Mwanga. “He’s very smart with the ball and he seems to know where to be on the field. He’s playing really, really well. I’m excited about our future. I think he’s going to keep doing good things out there. He’s just around the ball in the right spot.”
When McInerney scored against the Revolution, he celebrated by taking his shirt off. He was given a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct. He was then given some good-natured ribbing by his teammates.
“I told him, ‘We don’t want to see that again,’” joked midfielder Nick Zimmerman.
McInerney just smiled.
“It happened in the heat of the moment,” he said. “I was so happy.”
When you score clutch goals and contribute, of course you’re going to be happy.
McInerney will be happier if he continues along the same path. That means training hard. That means preparing hard.
And that means playing hard when called on.
“That has been my attitude all along,” said McInerney. “I’m a team guy and I will do whatever is needed. I’m confident in my ability. I’m happy when we’re winning.”