24 Under 24: #4 Jack McInerney, Philadelphia Union
Pos: F | Philadelphia Union | Age: 21
Few anticipated the splash Jack Mac has made in 2013. The 21-year-old Union striker wasn’t even on the “24 Under 24” list a year ago, dropping from the 23rd spot in the list in 2011. He has performed so well, though, that he’s drawn the eye of MLSsoccer.com's panel, and more importantly, forced Jurgen Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer to give him a look. Alongside the Union’s top free-agent pickup Conor Casey, McInerney has shined, already with double-digit goals despite a cold spell after a lighting-fast start. McInerney is primed to have an illustrious goalscoring career in MLS – and perhaps abroad.
What TDs and coaches like: "Good finisher. Doesn’t need a lot of chances to score goals. Makes great runs, he really does. He misses a chance and it doesn’t seem to affect him, which a great trait for a goalscorer. ... Jack is a special player that we don’t have many of in this country. He’s a guy in and around the goal that’s one of the best young strikers in the US right now. ...In time he could be a guy the US national team is looking for to score goals. I knew him when he was 14, 15, in the national teams. Back then, he was special. You could see this guy was something different from everyone else. He’s got stuff that you can’t teach. He’s just got a knack for the goal. ... He has excellent movement off the ball. He always has. He’s busy. He doesn’t wait for the ball. He actually goes and finds it as opposed to poaching. ... Very dangerous diagonal runs that can really unsettle a back four. ... He reminds me a little of Eric Wynalda. Not only the way he looks, but the way he plays. Wynalda kind of drifted wide more, but Jack’s a clever player like that."
Where TDs and coaches want improvement: "The negative would be that he’s battling consistency, but it’s not easy to score the amount of goals he’s had. It’s just an indication of what he is capable of. At this point, it’s just about finding consistency. ... It’s just becoming an overall player and doing what’s asked of him. The next step for him is to play on the Olympic team, the national team and it really comes down to what that coach wants. He may want a guy who’s better with his back to goal. He may want a guy that’s better at running the channels. You never know, but the one thing you can’t take away from the kid is that he’s a goalscorer. ... Size could be an issue, but he’s a quick player. He’s technical and he’s good in tight spaces. ... I think he needs to play in a two-forward system with him being the second forward."
Opta Says: Jack McInerney is tied for the most goals among players eligible for 24 Under 24 with 10 tallies during the 2013 season.
|Tale of the Tape|
|Last Year in 24U24: N/A|
|Castrol Index (as of 9/20/13): #9|
|Matches played: 26|
|Matches started: 23|
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