By CAITLIN MURRAY
After a slow start to the season, the Montreal Impact shook up their roster Friday with a blockbuster trade to land young striker Jack McInerney.
In exchange for McInerney, who is reportedly in the final year of his contract, the Philadelphia Union get a hometown boost in forward Andrew Wenger.
For the past two seasons, McInerney has been the Union’s top scorer, last year tallying 12 goals in 25 games and claiming a Major League Soccer All-Star spot. McInerney is in his fifth season of MLS, having been drafted seventh overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to bring in a player of Jack McInerney’s quality,” Impact sporting director Nick De Santis said in a statement. “At a young age, he’s already showed the ability to score goals in this league and we feel his qualities and soccer sense fit well within our style of play.”
For Wenger, it’s a bit of a homecoming. A Lancaster, Pa. native, Wenger played for Union’s semi-pro affiliate Reading United before being selected first overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. He failed to meet expectations though, scoring just nine goals in four seasons.
“Jack was an important member of our squad over the past four years,” Union manager John Hackworth said in a statement, “but the reality is our team has evolved and this deal puts our team in a better overall position long-term. Andrew is a Pennsylvania native that we are familiar with from his time as a youth and Reading United player and he will be a great addition to our team as both a person and a player going forward.”
Here is some more news from around the league:
TORONTO CITY OFFERS FINANCIAL BACKING FOR BMO EXPANSION
Plans to expand BMO Field have gotten a blessing from the City of Toronto.
Toronto will invest $10 million into the stadium expansion after a 39-3 vote Thursday, with Mayor Rob Ford and Councillors Doug Ford and Mike Del Grande casting the dissenting votes, according to the Toronto Star.
Under the expansion, BMO Field would be lengthened to host Canadian Football League games and prepared to host 2015 Pan Am Games events, which includes bringing capacity to 30,000 from 21,566 and adding a partial roof to cover most seats.
“We’re very grateful for the leadership and support of the City,” said Tim Leiweke, president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the stadium. “This is an important issue, not just for Toronto FC, but also the CFL, the Pan Am Games, our ability to host Winter Classics, Grey Cups, and the proposed 2026 World Cup bid for Canada.”
The stadium ownership group will seek additional funding from higher-ranking government while funding $90 million of the projected $120-million cost privately.
Toronto will earn back its investment with interest after 20 years, according to Joe Pennachetti, Toronto’s city manager. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, in turn, got a 10-year extension of its lease, now through 2037.
SOUNDERS’ ESTRADA GOES ON LOAN TO NASL CLUB
Seattle Sounders attacker David Estrada will join the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League on loan, the club announced Thursday.
Estrada, 26, has five goals in 40 appearances with Sounders FC, last playing in October. Sounders FC had selected Estrada with the 11th overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Estrada made five appearances for Seattle in the 2014 preseason, scoring one goal.
WATSON AND HARRINGTON RED CARDS RESCINDED, WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR WEEK 5
FC Dallas’ Je-Vaughn Watson and the Portland Timbers’ Michael Harrington are eligible to play this weekend after all.
After a joint appeal by the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas, a league review panel has overturned red cards issued to Watson and Harrington during the 40th minute of play in Portland last week. They each had been issued red cards carrying one-game suspensions for violent misconduct.
The review panel consists of one representative each from the U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association, and Professional Referees Organization.
What do you think of the McInerney-Wenger trade? Will the Union be able to get more out of Wenger? Will McInerney have a big impact on Impact? What do you think about BMO’s expansion plans?
Share your thoughts below.