SPORTS

Impact striker McInerney looking for first goal against former squad

06/26/2015 04:53 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - Jack McInerney admits it would be sweet to score against the Philadelphia Union.

The Union dealt McInerney to the Montreal Impact last season and he's been unable to score in two previous games against his former club. The striker gets a third shot Saturday when the two meet in MLS action at Philadelphia's PPL Park.

"It feels good to score against anyone, but especially against an old team where you still have friends and people in the city," McInerney said in a phone interview Friday. "It would definitely be something special for me.

"There's a big opportunity here to take three points, especially from an Eastern Conference team."

McInerney has scored against 15 of the league's 20 clubs, but Philadelphia — where he played from 2010 to 2014 — isn't one of them. The 22-year-old is looking to change that Saturday.

Although Philadelphia has recorded five shutouts this season, the seventh-place Union has allowed a league-high 30 goals.

"You're licking your lips, for sure," said McInerney. "They're a struggling team and they need the points.

"They're going to come out and look at it as an opportunity for them to jump right back into the (playoff) race. I'm sure they'll be pushing numbers forward. It's about taking advantage of our chances and finishing up."

Montreal (5-6-2) is one point behind Philadelphia (5-10-3) in the Eastern Conference standings with five games in hand. After starting their season winless in their first five, the Impact has won five of its last eight.

"We're on a little hot streak," said McInerney. "Anytime you can win five out of eight, that's pretty big.

"We're playing good soccer."

The three games Montreal didn't win over that stretch were all on the road, most recently versus rival Toronto FC on Wednesday.

Montreal is the league's worst road team, averaging 0.57 goals-per-game and 2.00 goals against. The Impact is 1-5-1 away from home this season, having scored four goals while allowing 14.

McInerney attributes Montreal's road woes to the aggressive style it plays away from Saputo Stadium.

"We've gone for wins on the road, pushing numbers forward," he said. "At times, we have to just be able to take the point on the road instead of going for the win and giving up two or three goals.

"For the first 60 minutes (against Philadelphia), we'll feel each other out and see how the game goes. And if we have to take the point, we'll take it. But I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the game we start pushing numbers forward to get the win."

In addition to McInerney, Montreal has a few attacking threats in midfield. Ignacio Piatti and Andres Romero each have three goals this season while Dominic Oduro has two.

Montreal's defenders have also been getting in on the action lately. Four of the club's last six goals have come from the back line, with Maxim Tissot, Wandrille Lefevre, Donny Toia and Ambroise Oyongo all scoring their first of the season this month.

"This Montreal squad is very explosive up top," Union defender Raymon Gaddis told the team's website Friday. "We're definitely familiar with McInerney and Oduro and Romero, who's very good on the flank.

"They're a very attacking team and have some great weapons."

NOTES — Eight different players have scored Montreal's last eight goals . . . A win Saturday would propel Montreal into fifth place in the East . . . The Union has one of the league's worst home records (4-4-1) . . . Philadelphia's C.J. Sapong has scored in four straight MLS contests.

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