Jack McInerney Taking Teammates' Chicharito Nicknames in Stride

Jack McInerney Taking Teammates' Chicharito Nicknames in Stride

Guest post by Dave Zeitlin

As soon as reporters began to crowd around Philadelphia
Union striker Jack McInerney’s locker in the bowels of creaky RFK Stadium
on Sunday night, the catcalls began.

“Hey, Chicharito!”

“Jackarito!”

“From Golden Boy to Golden Boot!”

As always, McInerney smiled. He’s gotten used to the
relentless barrage from his teammates ever since he was dubbed “The American
Chicharito” on an MLSsoccer.com
podcast
because of his similar skill-set (read: ability to poach goals) to Mexican
and Manchester United star Javier
“Chicharito” Hernandez
.

“It’s probably not going to stop all year,” McInerney said
Wednesday with a laugh.

It probably won’t as long as he keeps doing what Chicharito
does.

Following a two-goal effort against D.C. on Sunday, McInerney
took over sole possession of the MLS Golden Boot race
with six goals in the
Union’s first seven games. That made the 20-year-old McInerney the youngest
player to ever lead the league in goals at any
point in any season, according to Elias.

And then, just for good measure, the rising star took home MLS
Player of the Week honors
on Monday.

What have the past few days been like for the kid?

“I’ve gotten more text messages and tweets these last three
or four days than I’ve ever gotten,” McInerney said. “It’s been a little different.
I’m not going to say I don’t like it. As long as I’m playing well, I’m happy.”

He’s happy enough that he’ll deal with his new nicknames, even
if he has tried to brush off the comparison to the Manchester United striker
.
Not that his teammates care about that.

“Now they’re talking about putting it on the back of my
jersey,” McInerney laughed.

Jackarito and
Bimbo on the same jersey? Let’s get Adidas on the phone. That could be a big
seller.

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).