The Jack McInerney era has ended in Philadelphia.
In a stunning striker-for-striker move on Friday, the Union sent McInerney to the Montreal Impact for Lancaster native Andrew Wenger.
“Andrew is a young and talented attacking player who we think is a good fit with our style of play,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “Jack was an important member of our squad over the past four years, but the reality is our team has evolved and this deal puts our team in a better overall position long-term.
"Andrew is a Pennsylvania native that we are familiar with from his time as a youth and Reading United player and he will be a great addition to our team as both a person and a player going forward.”
Wenger, 23, was the first overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft and was in his third season in Montreal, where he tallied six goals in 18 starts. He is off to a strong start in 2014, with one goal in three games in place of suspended Marco Di Vaio.
With a more diverse, midfield-friendly skill set than McInerney, and with an added physical presence, Wenger is viewed as a better fit in Hackworth’s 4-3-3 set. Wenger earned a red card in Saturday’s match against the Union for a two-footed tackle on Vincent Nogueira. He will be suspended as the Union travel to Chicago to face the Fire.
For McInerney, a former seventh-overall draft pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft and Union original, it was a failure to adapt and flourish under Hackworth. Though he scored 12 goals in 31 games in 2013 -- his breakout season -- the 21-year-old was inconsistent down the stretch and unable to put his stamp on the position, fighting for time with veteran Conor Casey.
McInerney scored 25 goals in 53 starts with the Union. He had one year left on his contract.
The Union have scored just four goals in four games to start 2014 and cited a lack of aggressiveness as the cause. McInerney, who was leaned on to produce following a pricey revamping of the midfield, had a deflection goal in the Union’s season opener against the Portland Timbers.