Photo: Paul Rudderow
Before we talk about Jack, let me say that this week, the PSP writers were split down the middle. Saturday’s game wasn’t overflowing with good performances, but it did have a couple, and Jeff Parke’s drew half the votes for this week’s award. So, let’s take a moment to recognize that we are beginning to see the best of a very new player.
Voted Seattle’s Defender of the Year for two seasons running, we knew the Union were getting a good one. But players take time to settle into new teams, and against both Kansas City and Colorado, Parke showed that. Against New England, however, he hardly put a foot wrong. His passing was crisp, his tackling sure, and more than that, his leadership was clear. As I said last week, the Union need leaders more than anything, and Parke is stepping up, loudly organizing his back line, and forming an excellent partnership with Amobi Okugo. Saturday may have been the Union’s first clean sheet of the season, but with Parke and Okugo (or Soumare?) back there, I don’t think it will be the last.
Parke may have gotten half the votes, but ties are decided by me, and scoring two game-winning goals in consecutive weeks for a team that’s struggling to play well is worth a lot in my book.
So, this week’s Philadelphia Player of the Week is Jack McInerney. Jack seems to have taken up right where he left off last season as the Union’s most consistent attacking threat. More than any other Union player, he gets into good positions. With a better touch versus Colorado, he might have had two or three goals instead of just one, and against New England, he outfoxed three Revs defenders to have the uncontested header that led to the game winner. Call him a poacher if you want, but goals are goals, and Jack gets them.
What’s more, need I remind you that Jack is still only 20 years old? The boy’s got nowhere to go but up, and that bodes well for the Union. He may have some work to do to form a truly workable partnership with Le Toux (though Seba-to-Jack goals are something I could get used to), but it’s becoming clear, if it wasn’t already, that Jack simply must be on the field. We fans of the Union should feel very excited indeed to watch him develop.
It’s not the first time he’s received this award, and by the looks of things, it definitely won’t be the last: Jack McInerney is PSP’s Philadelphia Player of the Week.