McInerney returns to Union with new perspective

McInerney returns to Union with new perspective
July 21, 2013, 9:45 am
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CHESTER, Pa. -- After spending nearly three weeks with the U.S. Men’s National Team as part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, forward Jack McInerney returned to the Union on Saturday night with a new perspective.

“The level of the game, it’s an entire other level,” said McInerney of training with the USMNT. “The tempo is fast, the play is fast, everything is faster. Coming back here, hopefully I can carry it over.”

As the youngest player on the team, McInerney, who had two shots in a 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers at PPL Park, was a longshot for playing time under Jurgen Klinsmann. Though that was a disappointment for Union fans and those curious to see what he could do, it didn’t come as a surprise.

“I expected it,” he said. “I was on the bench, so maybe if the situation was right. I knew going in it was just a taste and whatever happens, happens.”

McInerney also had an accomplished mentor in his ear throughout the process -- USMNT all-time scoring leader, Landon Donovan.

“Landon was pretty good with me, he took me under his shoulder,” said McInerney. “He let me know what I needed to do and how to do things in different situations.”

McInerney also remarked on playing under Klinsmann.

“He’s tough, he’s very vocal,” he said. “He’ll sit back and watch but when he sees something he makes it known he wants it to change.”

Now that McInerney has a feel for the USMNT he wants more. And that hunger could work well in the Union’s favor.

“Obviously everyone wants to be there,” said McInerney, who leads the Union with 10 goals. “To get a taste makes me want to work so much harder and keep scoring.”

But he wasn’t able to do that against the Timbers. Holding most of the possession in the first half, the Timbers wore down the Union forwards on the humid night. However, McInerney did make a play to Conor Casey for the Union’s best offensive chance of the game late in the second half.

“We didn’t have much of the ball in the first half and it’s hard to get involved when you’re chasing the game,” he said. “We started the second half with some pressure and we did a decent job, but it wasn’t enough in the end.”

In the 82nd minute, Union assistant coach Rob Vartughian, who filled in for suspended head coach John Hackworth, pulled McInerney for Antoine Hoppenot. He made it clear that subbing the player had more to do with the game than anything else.

“It’s a tough game for our forwards because we had to chase it,” said Vartughian. “Jack did fine, he was good in training when he came back. It just wasn’t an easy game to get involved. The second half was much better.”