McInerney proving new coach Hackworth right
CHESTER, Pa. -- Union striker Jack McInerney walked off the field at PPL Park to a standing ovation.
Just two weeks ago, that sight was unthinkable.
“It feels like yesterday I was sitting up in the stands watching the games,” said McInerney, who made his second start of the season against KC. “I’m taking it one day at a time and hopefully I keep making it on the field.”
Staying on the field shouldn’t be a problem for McInerney following a 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City. McInerney, who was replaced by Keon Daniel in the 73rd minute, buried his fifth and sixth career goal in exciting fashion, pacing the Union to victory. It was his first score since August 6, 2011.
While goals for a striker shouldn’t be counted but expected, the production was a payoff for a player considered banished by former Union coach Peter Nowak. Handed new life by new Union coach John Hackworth, McInerney is considered reclamation project.
“What a great way for Jack to start the game,” said Hackworth about McInerney’s goal in the first minute of the game. “The work to get that goal was what we wanted. We were patient, we knocked it around the back, we sprang Ray Gaddis on the right side. Pajoy fights to keep it alive and Jack’s a sniffer. It was fantastic. And for him to get another at the end of the half like that, it’s such a huge goal. It changed the way we played the game coming out of the locker room.”
McInerney commented on the dirty-style goals.
“I’m not that fast and I’m not that big so I have to put myself in good spots,” said McInerney. “I was able to jump on a couple sitters tonight, which shows what kind of forward I am.”
Under Hackworth, McInerney, who only played in five games as a sub under Nowak, has two goals in two starts after not gracing the starting lineup since August 13, 2011. The absence from the Union’s plans with Nowak crushed his confidence, which is now back in full force.
“Right now it’s as high as it can be,” said McInerney of his confidence. “It’s been a rough season for me. Two starts and two goals, where I am right now, it feels good.
“It’s just about the opportunity and doing what I can to help the team.”
The coaching switch from Nowak to Hackworth hasn’t seen the sweeping change many believed it would. However, playing McInerney full time has been the exception. Thankful for this, McInerney has given Hackworth all the credit for his production.
“Hackworth has had a lot of faith in me the last four or five years,” said McInerney, who is now the active goal leader for the Union. “He’s given me an opportunity and I got two goals, so I’m sure he’s happy.”E-mail Ryan Bright at RyanBright13@gmail.com