Photo: Nicolae Stoian
Well, well, look who’s out of the doghouse.
Jack McInerney! We knew thee well. Heck, we’d begun faring thee well. We thought we’d seen the last of you in a Philadelphia Union uniform at PPL Park. You were next on the train out of town.
But lo and behold, Peter Nowak is fired, and look who can play! Look who shot out of the gate like a stallion in the Preakness, like a soda can shaken and then opened, like a bullet cocked in the chamber and fired! Look who’s not dead!
It’s you, Union Jack.
And who’s surprised?
Deployed at center forward, the teenage striker found space and holes in the D.C. United’s defense all night with timely, incisive runs. McInerney’s activity helped key the Union’s attack all night, turning what had become a stodgy, plodding, and unattractive attack in league play into a dynamic flow of offensive play.
After not playing in a league game since April 28, we could have seen a rusty McInerney in his first start of the year. Instead, he came out like he’d been starting all season. Clearly, he wasn’t wasting his time in practice, friendlies and reserve games, and John Hackworth noticed.
The only thing McInerney was missing, of course, was a goal. Had Antoine Hoppenot passed to an open McInerney in front of goal instead of slamming a shot off the near post from a tough angle in the 65th minute, McInerney might have hit the score sheet.
But everything else was there.
“I was just trying to make a statement,” McInerney told PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch in a postgame interview.
Statement made. McInerney is PSP’s Philly Player of the Week.
- Sheanon Williams
Williams had a monster game back at right back. His bombing runs down the right flank repeatedly served as a catalyst for the Union attack.
- Michael Lahoud
Lahoud looked comfortable for the first time in a Union uniform. Coincidentally, it may be the first time he played the same position in consecutive games for the Union. He had already shown the hustle in his first games. On Saturday, he showed there’s more than effort to his game.
This seemed appropriate.