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Tap the brakes on “McInerney as Chicharito” comparisons

Apr 11, 2013, 12:25 PM EDT

Jack McInerney-2

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.

  1. Dan - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Nice piece, Steve. Although, in reality, anyone who compares Jack Mac to Chicharito is off their ever-loving rocker. It is not even close, not yet. And a great deal of that has to do with the fact that while Chicharito played in a better league, he also had more consistent runs. Whereas Jack Mac had Peter Nowak to deal with. Enough said.

  2. firewolf777 - Apr 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I love having jac Mac
    But he’s got some work to put in still

  3. mvktr2 - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I get why people would stretch to make that comparison, it makes sense but is overambitious. Jack Mac is more akin to Chris Wondolowski only ‘discovered’ at a younger aged, having received superior training, opportunities, and time with the youth national teams. I think we’re seeing what a teenage-20 year old Wondo would have looked similar to. Who knows what Macinerney’s ceiling is, maybe it’s 15 MLS goals per a season because he never achieves the consistency to approach 20+. Maybe however he bags 18 or so in back to back years and lands a lucrative move to Europe where he can be further challenged. We don’t know what the future holds for him, but he’s doing well and playing an important productive role for his club. Hope his form holds/improves and he makes this summer’s gold cup roster.

    • mvktr2 - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      At 20 the gold cup would be an important step for his career to get started with the sr. team. He was a wonderfully effective team for the U-18s!

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