MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 27, 2013
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia (3-2-2) at New England (1-3-2), 7:30 p.m.
Foxborough, MA (Sports Network) - Coming off a dynamic offensive performance
last week, the Philadelphia Union aim for their second consecutive victory
when the club battles the New England Revolution on Saturday at Gillette
Jack McInerney continued his rise to national prominence across the league
after he bagged a first-half double to lead the Union to a 3-2 win over D.C.
United at RFK Stadium.
McInerney has six goals through the club's first seven games and finds himself
atop the Golden Book standings as the league's top goal scorer. His
strong showing also earned the 20-year-old his first career Player of the
McInerney attributes his success to playing with a high level of
confidence, having scored four goals in his last three matches.
"Confidence is everything for a young player, if you don't have it you are
never going to play as good as you can," McInerney said. "I think scoring
obviously raises my confidence and if we keep winning games from me scoring
then it's only going to get better."
McInerney's offensive game has blossomed since being paired up top with
veteran attacker Conor Casey. Casey also scored in last Sunday's win over D.C.
United and his ability to hold the ball up and play with his back to goal has
allowed McInerney to make smart runs off the ball.
New England, meanwhile, is coming off a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the New
York Red Bulls on April 20, and will play their first home match since the
tragic events at the Boston Marathon.
The attacks on Boston hit home for the Revs as goalkeeper Matt Reis' Father-
in-Law was injured in the events, so New England will likely be playing with a
little extra motivation.
McInerney has three game winners in his career against New England, something
of which Revs head coach Jay Heaps is keenly aware.
"The reason why Jack is so dangerous is because the less he's involved, the
more dangerous he is," Heaps said. "He doesn't average a ton of touches, but
when he gets them, they're dangerous. He's not someone you mark out of the
game. He could be on the opposite side of the ball and he just kind of sneaks
in and finds the areas to be in.
"He's very dangerous and someone that you have to be very cautious of and
always have an eye of where he is," Heaps continued. "But if you over-mark
him, then you're going to open the door for someone else and that's why he's
as dangerous as he is."
In the club's last matchup on March 16, a 76th-minute winner from McInerney
handed the Union a 1-0 win at PPL Park.
In eight all-time matches between the clubs, Philadelphia has never lost,
posting a 5-0-3 record, including a 2-0-1 mark on the road.
04/26 15:01:51 ET