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Player of the Week: Jack McInerney

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?

No one.

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.

Honorable mention

  • 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.

17 Comments

  1. Agree on all three, but wow is Hoppenot fun to watch.

    • I’ve gone back and forth on Hoppenot over the season, but if he can carve a spot out for himself as a change of pace super super-sub he can be a weapon for the rest of the year. Just hope they don’t push him as a starter, he isn’t there yet.

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    LETS GO JACK MAC WOOHOO

  3. My opinion is Jack Mac is a mandatory start for the rest of the season. We had to promising striker with Mac and Mwanga, Now that Mwanga is gone and our season is up in the air now is the time for Mac.By the end of the season we’ll know where we are at with him and weather we should trade him or not.

  4. Dean_Moriarty says:

    Really!? We must have been watching different games. His touch was terrible, passing poor, and his runs we’re almost completely nonexistent. When he was taken off in the second half I got te impression that we finally Saw why Nowak wasn’t playing him more.

    Above anything else he did or didn’t do it was his lack of runs for the midfielders that drove me up the wall. Sitting in the river end it was easy to see the lanes that were open. He could either check to the ball or make the diagonal run to the corner/sideline. Way too many times he just stood flat footed next to the center back. The times he did make the runs it really opened things up for the team, but for a guy getting what could be his last chance with a team he did not impress. I know you want to pick your spots when you make runs as to not blow all your energy in 10 minutes, but if that was the amount of effort he could best do… I dunno, hit the track. Very disappointed with Jack.

    Hoppenot on the other hand was constantly working to get open and get te ball. He had our three best chances all game in the few minutes he was in. Perhaps that’s why he isn’t a starter though, works to hard and gets tired. But I’d rather put my faith in a guy who works hard, has decent skill and has shown he understands the game and the movement involved.

    • Dude we did see different GAMES. You might want to get your eyes CHECKED. Most of the people watching the game saw what the author SAW. Great runs, aggressive creation of scoring opportunities. Those of us who watched him in 2010 know he can score. This is a good move by hackworth. I can certainly understand people asking for hoppenot because of the way he played but jacmac looked good.

      • Dean_Moriarty says:

        It’s just confirmation bias. He’s one of the few originals left so people have a soft spot for him and want him to do well. People have been clamoring for him to start and play more often because they think he would do well, any play he makes will make people go “see, I knew it!”. It’s much easier to remember the runs he did make than it is to remember all the ones he didn’t make.

        And unless you were watching the game like I was, from an end line with one eye on jack an the other on the ball the whole game you are only getting half the story. You can’t get that from TV because the camera really only shows the swath

      • Dean_Moriarty says:

        … Swath of field where the ball is. And you would go cross eyed trying to see what’s going on on the entire field. I’m not saying he didn’t do anything all game. Just that way more often than not, he wasn’t making the runs that needed to be made.

      • the kid union says:

        I was also in the river end Jac Mac played well for his first start in the season

      • Nice commentary numb nuts except i am a season ticket holder with a better vantage point than endline tickets. You sound like a die hard conservative that points to “pre bias” whenever somebody disagrees with you. Jack mcinerney injected into that game what we have needed all year. Aggressive well thougth out runs with the addition of being involved in the possession passing game that originally brought the ball FORWARD. Maybe in addition to new glasses you need new SEATS.SWEATS!

      • The Black Hand says:

        Player of the week…Really?

      • The Black Hand says:

        What exactly were his “aggressive creations…”? I didn’t see that aspect of young Jack’s game. I saw Jack make a FEW decent runs off the ball. When on the ball, he continued to look confused. I think that McInerney showed better form, but hardly could be considered a “creator” on the pitch; let alone player of the week. Williams (back at RB) and Amobi were far more valuable.

    • Yeah, I think we did watch different games. Don’t get me wrong. In our voting, I picked Williams for player of the week (and was obviously in the minority), but I thought Mac was a close second. Mac was key to opening up all that space for the Union. I was at the USOC game against DCU, and the same starting back line for DC closed down the Union most of the game (until Hoppenot went nuts) with Pajoy at forward.

      • Anybody see what McInerney got the caution for? It was so far behind the play everyone I was with missed it.

  5. What you get from Jack: hard work, smart running off the ball, unselfishness, willingness to get stuck in, not one-footed.

    What you don’t get from Jack: speed, touch, finishing, passing, size.

    It’s the same now as it was in 2010. You can argue why he should start, but it’s hard to argue that the Union will be a great team if he is, in fact, starting.

    • Philsoc8. Please take touch, finishing and passing off of the things that Jack mac doesn’t have. The way it is, your list is completely incorrect.

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