The silver lining:Jack McInerney

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the bright side of Saturday’s shock-to-no-one loss to the LA Galaxy. You may have sworn that if you hear one more writer praise the Union’s “resolve” after another loss, you’re gonna punch the nearest Girl Scout. But the resolve in this case actually led to something both impressive and more substantive: an important goal.

What makes our lone goal so special is twofold.  First, it was a goal against LA. They don’t happen very often.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but their back line is just as responsible for their current success as Landon or Edson is. Donovan Ricketts, then,  is Cerberus to the Galaxy’s Hades; very little gets by this man, as evidenced by the .20 GAA he brought into the stadium. If you saw LA play Kansas City, you can appreciate how impenetrable he truly is. The goal in question here was exactly the second Ricketts has allowed thus far this season.

Which brings us to the second fold: the goalscorer. This is not a seasoned MLS vet. This is not even a relative newcomer. This is a brand-newbie, albeit one whose experience as a U-17 USMT player is considerable and noteworthy. Jack McInerney can’t legally purchase porn or tobacco, but apparently he can man up against two defenders and a no-nonsense GK to slot it smoothly into the bag. Composure and accuracy are usually developed over time, but in the case of McInerney, his limited minutes on the pitch have evinced something the Union should already try their damnedest to hang on to.  He is only the 8th minor in the history of MLS to take such a scalp. If one is tempted to think of it as a fluke, just rewatch the league game against NYRB.  His hunger and bravery were obvious, if not his precision, which can only improve. So if he’s not Edson Buddle yet, but what more could Nowak ask from a boy among men than to be a reasonable scoring threat against the league’s best team?

So congrats, Li’l Mac. They grow up so fast…

Conor also writes for Philly Union Talk.

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