CHESTER, Pa. – Jack McInerney continued his hot start to the season Saturday, scoring his fourth goal in the last five games. And the young Philadelphia Union striker did it in one of the most dramatic ways possible, tying Saturday’s contest against Toronto FC in stoppage time to lift Philly to a come-from-behind 1-1 draw.
Just don’t expect him to be especially happy about it.
“The crowd’s going crazy and I’m sure they all loved it,” McInerney said. “But that’s got to be a game we win. Looking back on it later in the season, it’s going to be disappointing. It may feel good now. But it’s going to be disappointing later.”
The main reason for McInerney’s disappointment comes from the fact that the Union only scored once – more than 90 minutes into the contest – despite putting 18 attempts on goal and 10 shots on target.
None of the misses were more glaring than Antoine Hoppenot getting stoned by Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik on a breakaway shortly after McInerney’s goal and right before the final whistle.
Bendik was certainly brilliant – and rightfully praised by Union manager John Hackworth after the game – but Hoppenot knew he should have put that one away, calling it “one of those plays that’s going to stay in my mind for a while.”
And after the game, McInerney talked to Hoppenot about the miss that would have given the Union the full three points.
“He’s good at taking people on one-on-one,” McInerney said. “I told him after, ‘You’ve just got to beat the goalkeeper dribbling because that’s what you're good at.’ He’ll learn. He hasn’t been in too many of those situations but he’ll learn.”
McInerney doling out advice is perhaps another indicator of his growth as a player, as is his the fact that he played a full 90 for the second straight game. The 20-year-old rising star also finished with four shots and teamed up well with fellow striker Conor Casey, who assisted on his goal.
But following the game, a mostly frustrated McInerney wasn’t in the mood to look back fondly at his performance, especially because he had a goal disallowed in the 89th minute because of an obstruction call.
Perhaps that’s another sign of his growth.
“It’s really disappointing we didn’t win,” McInerney said. “That should be a game we win every week. And if we want to make the playoffs, that’s got to happen.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.