In the end, soccer is about scoring more goals than the other team. And Jack McInerney has been one of the best in MLS at putting the ball in the net for almost a full calendar year.
McInerney has been rewarded with a place on Jurgen Klinsmann’s preliminary 35-man Gold Cup roster. No other Union players were selected.
Five of the seven forwards selected play in MLS, and McInerney will have stiff competition to make the final 23-man roster, which must be announced by June 27. Chris Wondolowski, Will Bruin, Landon Donovan, Alan Gordon, Herculez Gomez, and Bobby Wood are the other strikers selected.
While Donovan and Gomez are near-automatic selections, there appears to be space for an inexperienced player like McInerney to earn a place behind them.
The Union striker has nine goals in twelve matches in 2013, building on his eight goal and three assist season a year ago. McInerney has emerged from Peter Nowak’s doghouse to put his team on his back after only 36 starts over the course of four seasons.
For the 20 year old, this is a watershed moment in a career that is on a steep upward trajectory.
MLS also recognized McInerney’s consistently strong season with a second straight Player of the Month award, only the third time a player has received that honor in consecutive months.