We should all slow our roll on Jack McInerney as “The American Chicharito.”
It’s an easy comparison to make; I get that.
Chicharito was a young goal-scoring phenom in Mexico. “Phenom status” is how a young Javier Hernandez got Sir Alex Ferguson’s attention, and how the Mexican starlet from Chivas made his way into mighty Manchester United at such a young age.
And there is the whole “nose for goal” thing. The distinguishing element that made Chicharito was his pure (and pure gold) goal-scorer’s instinct, that unteachable element.
McInerney, the young Philadelphia Union striker, now tied for third in MLS goal-scoring with three goals this year, appears to have the same thing. Just 20 years old but in his fourth professional season, “Jack Mac” has 15 goals in 65 appearances for PPL Park bunch.
He looks like a young Taylor Twellman that way. Twellman, the current ESPN analyst, had those instincts, and with extra to spare. Parlayed with a shrewd ability to “hide” from defenders until the very last moment and a bravery to hurl himself selflessly into areas of physical contact, he was among domestic soccer’s premier scorers through the “oughts” with 101 goals in 174 New England Revolution appearances.
Back to the McInerney-Chicharito comparisons:
Chicharito, at roughly the same age as McInerney, had 26 goals in 64 appearances for Chivas before moving to England. That’s more goals in a better league.
And he kept scoring goals at Manchester United, which may still be the world’s top league top to bottom, never mind this recent Champions League black eye. So, let’s tap the brakes on that one – even though McInerney is an exciting prospect.
Even McInerney shrugs at the comparisons – and that in itself says a lot about the young man.