The Philadelphia Union traded the teams leading scorer, Jack McInerney to the Montreal Impact for forward Andrew Wenger on Friday. McInerney, the 21-year-old forward, played for five seasons with the Union, coming out as the team scoring threat the last two season. McInerney led the club with 12 goals last season.
Wenger, the number one pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, never found his grove with the Impact. Union manager John Hackworth feels that Wenger will fit in well with their style of play. It may be just the move that Wenger needs to improve his game.
The Union has been trying to piece together a 11 player squad who are local to the area for a true home-grown team. Wenger is from Lancaster, Pa. and falls into this interesting roster plan by the Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz
With Jack McInerney being traded from the Union, the Montreal Impact should immediately see a positive impact to the team. McInerney’s play with the Union, scoring 25 goals over 95 games, has labeled him as one of the brightest young forwards currently playing today and secured the youngster a spot on the 2013 USMNT CONCACAF Gold Cup roster.
The trade could really help McInerney get even better as it will pair him with one of the leagues leading strikers Marco Di Vaio. By pairing of these two star forwards, the Impact hope that both will improve and compliment each other and help to keep the offense moving and attacking throughout the game.
The young McInerney should not only be able to learn from the experience of Di Vaio, but also open up chances for the veteran to add to his game. Pairing the two together will be devastating to opposing goalkeepers this season.
In 2008, Wenger was named the best high school soccer player in the country and was named the best player in college in 2011. His performance suffered after joining MLS and as a member of the Impact he netted only six goals in 51 games. This moved the forward to a back up roll to Impact starter Di Vaio.
The move came as a surprise. With only four games played by both teams so far this season, a trade so early was not expected. The move should help Montreal who has struggled early on, earning only one point this season. The added offense is hoped to help the team earn points quickly and get into the hunt for the MLS post season.
Philadelphia has earned 5 points over their four games this season. The Union is counting on Wenger coming home will reignite the offense he showed early in his career and give the team a new look for the rest of the season. The team knows Wenger pretty well already after he spent time with the Union’s affiliate team in Reading, PA
The Montreal Impact seem to be the clear winner in this transaction that traded star forward Jack McInerney from the Union. The Union will have to spend most of the season watching Wenger to see if bringing the hometown star back to Pennsylvania reawakened his offensive capabilities.
Commentary by Carl Auer