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McInerney double leads Union past struggling D.C. United

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D.C. United went into Sunday’s showdown vs. the Philadelphia Union in desperate need of some contributions from an attack that had been anemic all season. The team had been lacking chances, and failing to produce goals, which was continuing to put the D.C. defense in tough spots on their way to a poor start to the season.

Well, the chances did come on Sunday, as did some goals, but this time around it was the D.C. United defense and not the offense that had Ben Olsen scratching his head. Three Union goals in the first 26 minutes, led by a pair of Jack McInerney strikes, helped the Union post a 3-2 victory over D.C. United at RFK Stadium.

Philadelphia capitalized on some terrible defending from Dejan Jakovic in the early minutes of the match to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. A Jakovic turnover up the field led to a quick Union counter as McInerney slipped into the space vacated by Jakovic and raced onto a Conor Casey pass before beating Hamid.

Just four minutes later, it was Casey who did the damage, collecting a Danny Cruz pass and taking advantage of space left to him by an out-of-position Jakovic to slot home a goal of his own.

D.C. United pulled one back six minutes later courtesy of a Perry Kitchen finish set up by Dwayne DeRosario, but McInerney responded in the 26th minute when he headed home a Sheanon Williams long throw re-directed into his path by Amobi Okugo to make the score 3-1.

D.C. United eventually settled down, and continued to create chances, but they wasted several quality looks at goal and failed to draw closer before halftime. A second goal came just two minutes into the second half, when Lionard Pajoy headed home his second goal of the season.

That was as close as D.C. came though as they suffered their third consecutive home defeat while the Union pushed their unbeaten streak to three matches as they climbed to fifth place in the East.

Here are the match highlights:



  1. Jack Mac is just a goalscorer plain and simple. Like a lot of great athletes you can think of more reasons they shouldn’t be good than reasons why they are. All these perceptions are fine but this kid just scores goals. He finds a crack with a perfect run or a slick flick of the ball and creates an opportunity which he has proven to be able to convert more often than not. Lets not forget, how many forwards from the US can honestly make a defender pay for a positioning mistake or an intercepted pass even 25% of the time? Now look at the top scorers in MLS who can. Jack is 20 and he’s been doing it with regularity for a year now. Sky’s the limit and I’m sure he won’t be in Philly for much longer.

  2. Has all the makings of a middling forward, but his work ethic can be a wildcard factor. He plays top flight here, but if he were in England he’s probably a League 1 forward.

  3. There are no other forwards in the US pool who play off of the last defender and finishes quite like Jack does. He should definitely be on the GC roster. His runs in behind defenses are fantastic and if he were playing with a better midfield he would have more chances, add to that his best quality which is finishing and you have a top notch forward who deserves a call to the GC. At the the very least to see how he matches up against international competition.

  4. McInerney isn’t a good soccer player (at least he isn’t yet), but his finishing has been great this season. In a way, he’s a bit of a throwback since there aren’t many players that get by on just scoring goals. Forwards are now asked to do much more and the ‘poacher’ forward is an endangered species. Perhaps it’s like Highlander and when Pippo Inzaghi finally retired, Jack McInerney got all the powers of all the goal poachers.

    • Inzaghi. What a legend. Fergie once said he was the worst player he’s even seen. They called him The Thief.

      Jack the Ripper as a nickname maybe?

  5. Union forwards starting to come around. Jack Mac and Casey are an excellent tandem up top. If they would bench Cruz for Kleberson and put Daniel/Gabe Farfan on the other wing, they could move to the next level as a team. Could use a new goalie as well.

    • MacMath’s not great, definitely not what we were hoping for with such a high pick, but he’s also still young and I’m not quite ready to see him out yet.

      Also starting anyone over Danny Cruz would be wonderful. He’s fast, but gets knocked off the ball, has no presence on it, has no skill on it. Today was by far his most impressive game and he still had at least two opportunities lost by a total lack of awareness.

  6. I have liked him for years. He is not big fast or strong but he can finish. I think he is something special but we will see.

    • he’s small and easy to push around, but he’s not slow. He’s got the same sense of place that we see from strikers like Wondo. Of course he’s got much more time to grow than Wondo. I fully expect him to be getting GC time this summer, but we’ll see if he ever gets beyond that. His size and strength were a big problem for him until he had Conor Casey alongside him (the days of Adu, Hoppenot and McInerney being primary targets on free kicks was unimaginably frustrating). He makes an attack too small unless there’s somebody raising that average, he’ll need to hold his other skills at international level to get past that.

    • I agree. I was a big supporter of Olsen’s when he was named coach. And I thought he had a great season last year. But his inability to sign players we need in positions we need them, his stubbornness with Pajoy, and his lack of tactics in almost every game, has me wondering if he’s the first coach let go this season.

  7. Jac Mac deserves a call up to the Gold Cup Squad. He has simply forced his way into the roster. I think he has elevated his game and is now more calm inside the box.

    • Lol seriously?

      No. He’s doing well early in the season, but not everyone that’s scoring should be starting for the national team.

      He’s way down on the depth chart.

      • Yes, seriously. He is one of the most dangerous scorers in MLS and he’s 20. Who else should get looks before him? Starting games might be for Boyd and Gatt, but Jack could get some solid PT.

        Oh and same amount of points as NY with 2 games in hand #doop

      • Jack Mac’s got more potential than Will Bruin and Buddle has had his shot. Herc and EJ are A-Team for the WCQ, so I wouldn’t expect them to play in both tournaments. Gold Cup is the perfect opportunity to get a young American some minutes with the National Team. This is a no-brainer that Jack Mac makes the Gold Cup roster.

      • If Jack doesn’t play with the U-21’s it’s because he’s on the Gold Cup team. As a Union fan who’s been frustrated with his growth until the past year or so, I would be shocked if he’s not getting a good amount of time in the GC this summer. Jack’s got to be one of the top 5 strikers available that won’t be playing in WCQ.

      • As a DC fan, Pontius hasn’t come close to reaching his height of the past two seasons. I doubt he makes the Gold Cup.

      • The Gold Cup is going to be a B team. JAck makes that roster easily and based on form I’m not sure who would be starting above him.

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