CHESTER, Pa. – Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the Philadelphia Union scoring three times in the span of six minutes on Wednesday is the fact that none of the goals came from Golden Boot leader Jack McInerney.
But for the Union, that’s an encouraging sign that their team is more well-rounded offensively than anyone has had reason to think thus far in 2013.
“I think it’s huge,” captain Brian Carroll said following Philly’s 3-0 rout of the Columbus Crew at PPL Park. “[Jack has] drawn so much attention from the defense just through his run right now. It’s time other guys stepped up.”
Other guys certainly stepped up and it was Carroll leading the charge.
The Union holding midfielder isn’t exactly known for his offensive prowess, but against his former team he opened the scoring with a 25th-minute goal. Carroll then provided the assist on Sheanon Williams’ first goal of the season four minutes later, before Conor Casey closed the scoring on a feed from Sebastien Le Toux.
“For me, Brian Carroll has played really well,” Hackworth said. “In the last month, I think he has turned his game up and up and we are now seeing results.”
How important was it for Carroll and others to get in on the scoring?
Consider: coming into Wednesday’s game, McInerney had more goals (10) than all of his teammates combined (nine).
“It’s definitely good,” McInerney said. “It gives the team a lot of confidence and takes a lot of pressure off of me. I think going into the break this is exactly what we needed.”
At the same time, McInerney admitted he was bummed not to add to his Golden Boot lead, especially because he had a couple of easy chances to put the ball into the net. His best chance came in stoppage time when late sub Aaron Wheeler, making his MLS debut, fed him with a perfect pass right in front of the net.
“I would have bet the house that Jack would have scored at the end,” Williams said. “But it’s good to get some goals from some different people.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.