[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Last year at this time, Jack McInerney was about the hottest player in MLS, winner of back-to-back player of the month awards for April and May. But on Friday, the Philadelphia Union discarded him, shipping him north to Montreal Impact in exchange for former No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger. You'd very much call it a surprise move until you listen to Union manager John Hackworth.
McInerney, who is still only 21, finished with a career-high 12 goals in 2013 but he slumped badly after returning from the Gold Cup, where he did not play for the USA.
Jack McInerney, MLS:
GP/G TEAM (YEAR)
4/1 Philadelphia (2014)
31/12 Philadelphia (2013)
25/8 Philadelphia (2012)
18/1 Philadelphia (2011)
17/3 Philadelphia (2010)
Andrew Wenger, MLS:
GP/G TEAM (YEAR)
4/1 Montreal (2014)
24/1 Montreal (2013)
23/4 Montreal (2012)
A key factor is that McInerney is a free agent at the end of the year and has expressed interest in one day moving to Europe.
“I would tell you, yes, that’s part of it,” Hackworth said in a conference call with media after the trade was announced. “It’s not that I don’t think we could have signed Jack to another contract. But it certainly presents another set of problems when a player is at the end of a contract and you know what you’re going to have to do to retain that player’s rights.”
MLS: Week 5 Preview
Wenger, who grew up 85 miles from Philadelphia in Lititz, Pa., hasn't matched McInerney's production -- six goals in two-plus seasons vs. 25 goals in four-plus seasons -- but Hackworth likes Wenger's versatility.
“[Wenger] is more of a prototypical No. 9 than Jack was or is," the Union manager said. "That’s where we see him. But he is versatile enough, which we really like. You could put him on the left or right, or drop him into the midfield, and he’d be effective.”
The trade will allow for the return to the Union frontline of Conor Casey, who is back after missing the start of the season with a calf injury.
In Montreal, McInerney will give Montreal a potentially potent 1-2 punch with Marco Di Vaio, who also returned to action last weekend, in his case following a three-game suspension carried over from the 2013 playoffs.
IGOR JULIAO LOAN DEAL. Sporting Kansas City acquired 19-year-old Brazilian defender Igor Juliaoon loan from Fluminense.
"Igor is a player that once we saw him at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic [with Flu's U-23 team]," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "We really liked him. We scouted him for about six days and watched four of his games. We feel that he is a great, young talent and someone that will fit into our team with the way we like to play, particularly with how important the outside back position is to our team."