All of the rumored moves from the Portland Timbers have now been completed as the team today announced that forward Jack McInerney has been acquired from the Columbus Crew in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money.
McInerney, 23, has been in MLS since he was 17, playing for the Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact, and Columbus Crew before joining the Timbers. In his 143 appearances in Major League Soccer, McInerney has scored 38 goals in league play, including a career high of 12 in 2013 with the Union.
More recently, McInerney has found himself in the role of the first man off the bench, backing up Marco DiVaio in Montreal and Kai Kamara in Columbus. In Montreal in particular, McInerney was able to shine in the CONCACAF Champions' League, scoring seven goals in eleven matches for the Impact during their run to the 2015 CCL final.
An out and out forward, McInerney will be pushing Fanendo Adi for the starting spot with the Timbers and providing a different look from the big man. Less of a hold-up forward then Adi, McInerney rather seems to excel at poaching goals both from set pieces and from the run of play. Able to drift off the back shoulder of his defender and find just where the ball is going to end up after a bounce or two, how McInerney is able to read players like Diego Valeri and Lucas Melano will prove to be vital to his effectiveness with the Timbers.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS ACQUIRE FORWARD JACK MCINERNEY FROM COLUMBUS CREW SC
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired forward Jack McInerney from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for targeted allocation money and general allocation money, it was announced today. Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"At a young age, Jack has proven goal-scoring ability in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League and we are excited to add him to a strong group of attacking talent," said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers.
McInerney, 23, has made 143 career appearances (87 starts) in his six-year MLS career after originally being drafted by the Philadelphia Union with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native scored a career-best 12 goals during a breakout season for Philadelphia in 2013, garnering MLS All-Star recognition and earning a spot on the United States Men’s National Team roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"Jack is a rare pickup because of his reputation as a young striker who has scored goals in MLS," said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. "We're extremely excited to have him join our club and look forward to his contributions. No doubt he will play a major role in various competitions in 2016."
In April 2014, McInerney joined the Montreal Impact following a trade and aided the team's run to the 2014-15 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Final, scoring three goals in five appearances (2 starts), including a goal in the second leg of the final against Mexico’s Club America. During the regular season, McInerney tallied seven goals and one assist in 26 appearances (21 starts) for the Impact. After scoring four goals in 17 games for Montreal in 2015, the forward joined Columbus in a late-season trade. He registered two goals in five games to help Columbus reach the postseason, also logging time in two MLS Cup Playoffs matches as Crew SC reached the final.
Among active MLS players, McInerney is currently the youngest player with 38 or more career MLS goals and ranks 24th overall on the career goal-scoring list among active players. Additionally, only one player in MLS history (Stern John, 44) scored more career goals ahead of his 23rd birthday.
On the international stage, McInerney previously earned caps for the U.S. Under-23, U-20 and U-17 sides.
Born: Aug. 5, 1992, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Last Club: Columbus Crew SC
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Acquired Jan. 13, 2016 from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for targeted allocation money and general allocation money