According to ESPNFC.com, the Portland Timbers are set to acquire Columbus Crew forward Jack McInerney in a trade for allocation money. With a hole left in the lineup behind Fanendo Adi following the departure of Maximiliano Urruti early in the offseason, the Timbers have been looking for a new back up at the No. 9 spot and McInerney is a proven goalscorer in Major League Soccer.
The move for McInerney, 23, answers one of the Timbers' major questions this offseason as the team clearly could not go forward with only Adi available at forward. With regular substitute appearances, the U.S. Open Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions' League all on the plate this year, the Timbers' depth at striker will be called on regularly this year.
For his part, McInerney has been a consistent goalscorer in MLS since joining the league back in 2010, scoring 38 goals in 143 regular season games, and -- more impressively -- scoring seven goals in eleven CCL games with the Montreal Impact last year on their run to the finals.
A poacher with a knack for being at the right place at the right time, McInerney has historically been a threat both in the run of play and on set-pieces. While not generally a player that is going to create opportunities for himself, McInerney seems to do best when another player is able to draw defenders off of him, something that he will certainly have in Portland with Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe, and Lucas Melano.
A key part of this pickup will be McInerney's salary, which was listed at over $334,000 in the latest MLS Players' Union release. McInerney is out of contract with the league, however, so that number could change significantly.
McInerney joins Zarek Valentin, 24, and Ned Grabavoy, 32, as players that the Timbers have been strongly linked to recently, and like the others he is an experienced player who should be able to make an immediate impact on the pitch. Also, both he and Valentin are still coming into the prime of their careers, so if Caleb Porter's ability to bring players along and get the most out of them, as with Jorge Villafana, holds true these could be be some very interesting pick ups.