Maybe it’s time that Jack Mac takes a seat on the bench. The last time Jack McInerney hit the back of the net was June 1st against Toronto. After his red hot start to the season he has seem to come back down to Earth. With 10 goals Jack currently sits 5th in total goals for the season behind Camilo (14), Mike Magee (14), Marco Di Vaio (13), and Robbie Keane (10). Lately though he seems to have lost his touch and his confidence. I understand that even the best of strikers go through slumps in their careers and they eventually get over it. Saturday’s game against the Red Bull’s we saw a visibly frustrated Jack McInerney coming off the field in the 66th minute for super sub Antoine Hoppenot. Jack only had 1 shot that game and it looked like he hit wrong off his right foot, putting the ball wide left. Most people would leave their striker out on the pitch to let them keep trying to find their groove again, however I think Hackworth needs to take the opposite approach. Some people may argue that sitting a player in the middle of a slump can shatter that player’s confidence but I think McInerney is bigger than that.
Before everyone starts to riot hear me out here. Jack McInerney is a talented young striker, he will get out of this slump eventually, but I believe the best way to help him get his groove back quicker is to start him on the bench next week. Starting either Aaron Wheeler or Antoine Hoppenot up top with Conor Casey next week against the New England Revolution could provide a nice change of pace. Wheeler paired with Casey would offer the better match up against the two tall New England defenders José Gonçalves (6’ 2") and A.J Soares (6") and the weak midfield service the Union have been providing might look a little better with two guys up top winning headers. Instead of Wheeler, utilizing the speed of Hoppenot as a starter could help wear out the defense. This would also be a great opportunity for Hackworth to showcase some coaching skills. Say the team comes out under performing, either locked in a draw or they somehow find themselves behind, this is a great chance for Hackworth to talk Jack up and throw him in there as a sub. McInerney would be coming in on fresh legs, ready to slip in behind the Rev’s defense to knock one home. Even if McInerney falters as a sub and the slump continues, it can’t be any worse than seeing him out there frustrated for 90 minutes. Jack has already shown his maturity in post-game interviews by keeping the same demeanor no matter what situation he finds himself in. So why not make him take a seat for a game? It’s about sending a message and challenging your guys to step up to perform like they are capable of and we all know Jack Mac has what it takes to score.