CHESTER, Pa. — John Hackworth hopes to hit the lottery.
The Marcus Tracy lottery, that is.
During his weekly press conference Wednesday, the Philadelphia Union manager confirmed the club’s interest in Tracy, the 25-year-old forward who signed an MLS deal this week.
Tracy’s new MLS home will be determined by a weighted lottery that will be conducted Thursday. Teams have until the end of the day on Wednesday to put their names into the hat, and the Union plan to be one of those teams.
“Yes, he would be someone that we would be very interested in,” Hackworth said. “Marcus was one of the top players coming out of college before he went overseas. Unfortunately, he’s had some injuries that have set him back. But I think he’s in a good spot now.”
Since winning the 2008 Hermann Trophy (given to the nation’s most outstanding college player) at Wake Forest, Tracy has indeed fallen on some hard times, with knee injuries hampering his stint with the Danish side Aalborg BK over the past three years.
But Hackworth believes a return to the United States could help Tracy, who would certainly have some familiarity with the Union. Not only does the forward originally hail from the Philadelphia area, but he would also join a team that already has four Wake Forest alums on its roster and technical staff, including Hackworth himself.
“I think [injuries] are always a concern but only he can answer those critics,” the Union manager said. “And until he gets back with a team and in full training and puts himself on a field, I think it’s up to Marcus more than anybody. I hope he’s doing that in a Union jersey.”
While a healthy Tracy could certainly kickstart a sluggish Union offense, Hackworth said he probably wouldn’t look for help this season from the former Wake Forest star, if the Union were fortunate enough to land him.
“He would be one we would be looking for in the future, more so than having an immediate impact,” Hackworth said. “With my understanding of where Marcus is at, I think he still has a ways to go to go back to being 100 percent healthy.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.