Jack McInerney heading to Montreal, as Philadelphia get Wenger

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Jack Mac has packed his bags, and is off to Quebec. For good.

In a shock move in Major League Soccer on Friday, the Philadelphia Union and Montreal Impact made a straight player-for-player trade as Jack McInerney and Andrew Wenger head in opposite directions.

McInerney, 21, has played for Philadelphia for five seasons and has been their top scorer in the last two campaigns. In 2013 McInerney enjoyed a breakout year, as the young poacher scored 13 goals, was named an All-Star and also received his first cap for the U.S. national team as he helped Jurgen Klinsmann’s side to Gold Cup success.

As for Wenger, the 2012 SuperDraft first overall pick has struggled to light it up regularly in Montreal and the Lancaster, PA. native will be returning to his hometown club during his third season in MLS. In the past the Union’s CEO Nick Sakiewicz has stated his intent to field a team made up of eleven local players, and getting Wenger on board adds another hugely talented piece of that jigsaw.

Impact sporting director Nick De Santis was delighted to get McInerney on board, as Montreal aim to kick on under Frank Klopas this season.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to bring in a player of Jack McInerney’s quality,”  in a club statement. “At a young age, he’s already showed the ability to score goals in this league and we feel his qualities and soccer sense fit well within our style of play.”

What do we think of this trade?

McInerney is a straight-up ‘fox in the box’ and has scored 25 goals in 95 games with Philadelphia, 53 of which were starts. Wenger is much more athletic, and can play in a variety of positions after leaving Duke University to join MLS. Montreal seemed to have got a very good deal here as McInerney, who has scored once and assisted on another in Philadelphia’s four MLS games this season, is a rising star in the league.

He is regarded as the brightest young forward in U.S. soccer by many, and with Italian legend Marco Di Vaio to learn from in Montreal, it could be the perfect place for Jack Mac to blossom into an even better player. That’s good news for Montreal, and the U.S. national team.

This trade certainly came as a surprise, but with McInerney’s talent and Wenger’s close links to Philadelphia, it all seems to add up to a good deal for everyone involved.