Fans of the Union were left baffled and shocked just a couple weeks ago as highly popular forward and scorer Jack McInerney was traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for forward Andrew Wenger.
Going by simply stats, there was a lot to be upset about. McInerney had scored 25 goals in his young career and looked to be emerging as one of the best scorers in the MLS, registering a career-high 12 goals in 2013.
Wenger was widely viewed as a disappointment. He scored just six goals in two seasons with the Impact after being selected as the No. 1 pick in 2012. All that changed on Saturday after Wenger found the back of the net against Real Salt Lake to put the Union on the board in an eventual 2-2 tie.
“[The goal] helped to prove myself to this team, but it’s also nice to get the monkey off my back,” Wenger said. “Hopefully more will follow.”
Union fans will surely keep an eye on McInerney the rest of the season. He had a goal of his own Saturday in a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire. But Wenger hopes that his play the rest of the year can silence some of the comparisons.
“Being a forward you’re always expected to score goals,” Wenger said. “I don’t think it really matters who I was traded for, it’s just one of the expectations that goes with playing this position. From a team standpoint expectations may be higher but I don’t feel any added pressure from the fans.”
The Union (1-1-4) head down I-95 Wednesday to face the New York Red Bulls (0-1-4). Wenger and the Union offense will have a tough task facing goalie Luis Robles who leads the MLS in saves with 26.
“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper,” Wenger said. “Like any other game you just want to take your chances well and put the ball where it can’t reach him.”
The game will air at 7:30 p.m. on The Comcast Network.