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Friday, July 19, 2013

Jack Mac's back: McInerney reflects on his time with Team USA

In catching up with Jack McInerney Friday (here's the link to the full story), the Philadelphia Union striker seemed at ease with his situation. Never one to come off as too emotionally high or low, McInerney expressed genuine gratitude for his opportunity with the men's national team, even if it didn't culminate in his international debut.
Jack McInerney regards his stint with the U.S. National Team as a
positive, even if he didn't appear in a match. (Associated Press)

From the outside, it may look like a disappointing result that he didn't get to don the Stars and Stripes in a match. But McInerney and Jurgen Klinsmann seem to have struck an understanding about the purpose of the camp for the 20-year-old, and it sounds like it was a success in that regard. (For further reading, it's worth checking out Kevin Kinkead's reaction from Hartford Tuesday night, which includes quotes from Chris Wondolowski, Stuart Holden and U.S. assistant coach Martin Vasquez.)

Here's a little more of what McInerney had to say:

On the difference between this and the youth camps he's attended:
It was pretty similar. Obviously being at that level, you just really can’t be in the same situation until your actually there. I think the biggest thing was adjusting to that, but everything starts to be pretty similar, with the style and things like that.

On the connection he developed with LA's Landon Donovan:

Landon kind of took me under his wing a little bit. He’s one of the older guys, and I really got along with everyone. Everyone was really nice. But just being there and being a part of it and being in the group overall is just good. Everyone treated me like I’d been there before.

On the mindset he's bringing back to the Union:
Just being there, knowing what it was like, is what it was about, and now being back with my club, hopefully I can bring some of that back for the other guys to share with them. I’ll be able to kind of raise my game here and get back there and going into next summer, I’ll know what to expect.

On his preparedness for Saturday's match with Portland:
I don’t know what the gameplan is, but I’m definitely fit. I would say I’m fitter even though I didn’t play just because the level of play and the practices were so good and so hard. So I’m ready to go, but whatever the gameplan is and whatever they decide, I’ll do.

On his conversations with manager John Hackworth on his return:
He kind of just asked how I was feeling and how I felt and asked if I was fit and stuff. I told him obviously I wanted to play; I haven’t played in a while and I’m itching to get out there. My fitness level is good, and I feel like I’m ready to go.

On his team's performance in his absence:
I think they did really well. Obviously 1-1-1 doesn’t sound that good, but considering where they went and who they played, it’s some pretty good results. I know the team is feeling pretty confident, and Conor (Casey) has been playing extremely well lately. So hopefully with me coming back, if I can get on the field tomorrow, the team can continue the good run and keep the good form going.

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