MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact bench is of no interest to Jack McInerney, who wants to impress right away after last Friday’s blockbuster trade that sent forward Andrew Wenger the other way to the Philadelphia Union.
He may get to.
His new head coach, Frank Klopas, said Impact fans would have to “come out and see” whether McInerney joins Marco Di Vaio up front Saturday at the Olympic Stadium against the Chicago Fire (4 pm ET; MLS Live). But there’s no doubt in his – and McInerney’s – mind: it’s bound to happen sometime.
“We could play them together,” Klopas told reporters Tuesday after McInerney’s first training session with his new team. “We’ll see through the week and, obviously, that’s the reason we have him here. I think that they can play well together, but it’s stuff that we have to do at training this week.”
And if Klopas’ comments weren’t encouraging already, McInerney had to be delighted with those of Di Vaio, the man he puts among the best-ever finishers in MLS.
“He kind of just said hello, said ‘We’ve been wanting you, we’re happy to have you, and hopefully you score some goals this year,’” McInerney said of his conversation with the Italian striker.
While McInerney had already met Di Vaio at the 2013 MLS All-Star Game, he’s only had contact as an opponent with others such as defender Hassoun Camara, who sounded relieved to only face McInerney in intra-squad scrimmages from now on.
“He’s a good player, really a good player,” Camara told reporters. “I’m happy to see him amongst us because I can tell you he's one of the players that will most make life difficult for you in MLS with his movement and his thirst for goals. He’s got the same profile as Marco, I’d say, hugging the offside line, asking for the ball in behind defenders.”
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Providing such assists, as well as easing McInerney into his new squad, are tasks that former Philadelphia teammate Justin Mapp will be happy to fulfill.
“He’s a young, hungry player,” Mapp said of McInerney. “A quiet guy, but I know he wants to get here and prove himself to a new team and new fans. He’s been in Philadelphia since the beginning of his career, so it’s kind of a new chapter and I know he’s hungry to score goals and prove anybody who doubted him … wrong.”