I have to admit it right away: I was also hoping that the Impact will bring a big name to the squad...until this week. I’ve now changed my mind and do think that Jack McInerney is a good striker at the MLS level. Sure, he is less attractive than Alberto Gilardino, Miroslav Klose or Antonio Di Natale but he can get the job done.
In fact he has already done that in the past. Let’s take a look at the stats of the American player.
In 2013, "Jack Mac" scored 12 goals in 31 games (25 starts) with the Philadelphia Union. He was only 21 years old! He managed to put 12 goals in the net at 21 and by playing with players less talented than the Impact's Nacho Piatti. No offense to Kleberson or Sebastian Le Toux but Nacho is at another level.
Last year, he scored 8 goals, 7 of them with Montreal, in 26 games (21 starts) and that’s quite good when we remember that Montreal finished dead last in the league. Those 7 goals were only two behind Marco Di Vaio!
In fact, according to MLSSoccer.com, his scoring efficiency is at 15.9 % , 4% better then the Italian native. So the insinuation that "Jack Mac" does not put the ball in the net , when he got scoring chances, is false.
For example, his scoring efficiency is in fact better than Clint Dempsey's or Robbie Keane's.
The question : Can he score 15-18 goals and be the effective striker the Impact is sadly looking for? My answer is YES!
Yes he can and he has demonstrated it in the past. Some people might say that the chemistry between him and Piatti was not there last year. Both will start training camp together and we will see if they both sync up in practice and on the pitch.
Piatti will deliver many balls and create a few scoring chances for Jack McInerney and numbers don't lie: the ex-Union striker can and will bury it in the net. Every defensive squad in the league will be keeping an eye on Nacho, giving more space to Jack. With the plethora of offensive midfielders excluding Piatti (Andres Romero, Justin Mapp, Dilly Duka and Felipe Martins), the striker in front is going to find time and space to do his magic and McInerney has the potential and track record to deliver.
I do admit being worried and I understand the fans' questions and doubts. Off the bench, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir have Santiago Gonzalez and Anthony Jackson-Hamel ( who has just gone surgery a sports hernia surgery) . While I respect the aforementioned professional players , they are not MLS-calibre right now. If ''Jack Mack'' happens to get injured or drastically under-perform, things might get ugly and the Impact could finish dead last once again.
That’s why a backup striker is needed with a minimum of effectiveness. When you hear rumors bringing Klose or Di Natale at a big price (and for a short period of time) and when you see that the Impact has a potential all-star striker in its midst, I truly don’t understand the lack of faith.
He is only 23-year old and has already scored 32 goals in 74 MLS games. With Piatti's potential to scored 12-15 goals , both will formed a very dangerous duo. The solution is here within the club's roster and let’s just hope that the management team thinks the same.