Forward Jack McInerney, center, played against the Montreal Impact last weekend, and he was been traded to the Canadian club on Friday. (Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
A pair of MLS Eastern Conference foes pulled off a blockbuster deal Friday morning, with two forwards who played against each other last weekend switching places.
The Philadelphia Union sent leading 2013 scorer Jack McInerney to the Montreal Impact for 2012 No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wenger in a straight-up swap, altering the front lines for both clubs considerably.
McInerney, already in his fifth pro season at age 21, was the hottest striker in MLS to start the 2013 campaign, netting 10 times in the first 15 games of the season and earning a call-up to the U.S. national team's Gold Cup squad. He didn't play in the tournament, though, and his form fizzled out, as he scored just twice the rest of the season. In the final year of his contract -- which could have provided impetus for Philadelphia to make the trade -- he has one goal thus far in 2014, and he goes from the role of top dog in Philadelphia to a high-profile complementary role in Montreal aside 2013 MVP finalist Marco Di Vaio.
“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.”
With 25 goals in 95 career games, McInerney's stats are far superior to those of the 23-year-old Wenger, who has yet to fulfill expectations after being a highly touted U-20 national team player who starred both offensively and defensively at Duke University. Wenger, playing primarily as a forward with the Impact, scored six goals in 51 games across two-plus seasons.
He was sent off in his last game with the Impact -- against the Union, of all teams -- and he'll be suspended for Philadelphia's match at Chicago this weekend.