mcinerney head shot

Stunned by trade, disappointed McInerney ready for life after Union

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Both Montreal and Philadelphia raised eyebrows over the weekend when the Impact acquired Jack McInerney in a trade with the Union, effectively giving the Canadian club two of MLS’ top eight goal scorers from a season ago.

The Impact sacrificed Andrew Wenger, the top pick from 2012’s SuperDraft, in order to pick up McInerney. The 23-year-old Wenger is two years senior despite being in his third MLS season compared to JackMac’s five.

McInerney said the trade was “pretty sad and disappointing,” while his former manager John Hackworth said the Union had “evolved.”


When asked if he would have been open to re-signing with Philly, McInerney said “for sure,” and batted down rumors he wished to go elsewhere.

“People were saying that but I was asked if I had the opportunity to go to Europe and I said I would consider it,” McInerney said. “I didn’t say that was something I was going to do. I was happy here in Philly. I didn’t want anything to change at that point.”

McInerney also shot down the rumors that he may have rubbed some teammates the wrong way with his body language during games, saying that “no one has ever said anything to me” and “that’s just kind of how I am on the field.”

McInerney’s 12 goals last season were the 8th-best figure in MLS, and Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio scored a second-best 20.

The advanced stats may bode well for the duo, with both players ranking in the league’s Top 15 forward for Squawka Performance Score. The bad news? Both players hemorrhaged possession, ranking among the league’s worst strikers.

Montreal welcomes Philadelphia to Stade Saputo on April 26 at 4pm ET.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.