New Columbus Crew SC striker Jack McInerney is one of the most prolific young goal scorers in Major League Soccer. With 36 career goals, the forward ranks second all-time in MLS among players under the age of 23. Only Crew SC legend Stern John scored more (44).
A 2013 MLS All-Star, McInerney is in his sixth MLS season. He also has CONCACAF Champions League and Gold Cup experience. He reached the Champions League final with the Montreal Impact this year and was on the 2013 Gold Cup-winning U.S. team alongside Crew SC Captain Michael Parkhurst.
While McInerney’s accomplishments on the pitch are well known, we wanted to find out more about his life off the pitch. Here’s our interview with Jack:
Q: Welcome to Columbus, Jack. We’re excited to have you. We saw your mom is pretty excited as well as she tweeted a grade school photo of you in a Crew SC jersey. What’s the story behind that?
A: I’m not too sure exactly how I got the jersey or where it came from. But I remember going to school one day wearing the jersey and I didn’t even know it was picture day. I had the picture taken in the Crew SC jersey and that’s where the picture came from.
We saw you’re a fan of “Breaking Bad.” What are some other TV shows you binge watch?
Well, lately I haven’t been watching too much TV. I just finished up “Mad Men,” but now that I’ll be back in a hotel for a little while, I guess I’ll have to start something new.
We noticed you’re a fan of “The Bachelor” What about “Bachelor in Paradise?” Have you seen that one at all?
Yeah, I’ve seen that one once. I think it was pretty enjoyable, so I’ll probably watch the one coming up too.
What’s the first food place you’ll head up when get into town?
Well, in Canada they don’t have Chipotle, and I’m a big Chipotle fan, so I’ll probably be getting there pretty soon.
You’re going to wear No. 30 for Crew SC but No. 9 is your preferred one. What would you offer Justin Meram to get his number?
Justin Meram’s one of the few people I actually know on the team, so I think I’ll be fine with 30. It’s just a number.
How helpful is it coming to the team already knowing someone?
When I came to Montreal I literally only knew one person on the team. I actually know four or five guys here, so it’ll make the transition easy and make it more comfortable adjusting to the new life.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No, I don’t really do anything like that. I usually just have my headphones on and listen to music most of the time.
How much time do you spend practicing goal celebrations?
[Laughs] I get a lot of criticism because when I do score I usually don’t celebrate. So I guess the answer would be none, and that’s why everyone gives me a hard time about it. A lot of people say I don’t even smile after I score.
You’re going to have to spend some time with Kei and Waylon. They come up with some pretty interesting dances after they score.
I know, I’ve seen them. Maybe I’ll just let them do their thing and keep the spotlight on them.
Do you have any pet peeves?
I wouldn’t say so. I have road rage most of the time, so when people cut me off and stuff, I get pretty mad.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I think I would want to be able to fly.
Then you could just fly over traffic and wouldn’t have to worry about road rage?
Exactly! Or, you know, just going on vacation somewhere in a heartbeat.
What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is heights. I’m fine with being up high on a building or something, but when I look over the edge, my hands and my feet start sweating. But when I’m up there, I always get the itch to look over the edge. It’s kind of weird. I have to feel like I still look and then I back off.
That’s interesting since you’d want to be able to fly…
I think I’d get over it if I could fly somewhere and be there in two seconds.
Speaking of flying, Jack is flying (the commercial way) to Columbus tonight and will train with the team on Sunday. We look forward to seeing him on the pitch!
For the first time in his life, Crew midfielder Hector Jimenez is adjusting to life outside of California. Born in Huntington Park outside of Los Angeles, raised in Bell Gardens, schooled at Cal-Berkeley and spending the first three years of his career with the LA Galaxy, Jimenez is anxious to return to the Golden State this weekend when the Crew faces the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday (3:00 p.m. ET / UniMas, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).
Jimenez is anticipating many of his friends and family in attendance at Buck Shaw Stadium, making the five-hour drive from Southern California.
"This is a game that when I was in LA, I looked forward to the most," Jimenez said after the Crew's Wednesday training session. "I trained with [the Earthquakes] during the summer and stuff like that. It'll be a good game for me, my family is coming up. The team is excited. Hopefully we can get on a winning streak again."
Winning two MLS Supporters' Shields in three seasons with the Galaxy, Jimenez can't help but view the 'Quakes as a rival.
I think [Galaxy vs. Earthquakes] is one of the biggest rivalries in the League, to be honest, during those years I was in LA. It's a team that you go and play at their field, they don't want to lose points."
This weekend marks the only trip the Crew will make to California this season as it hosts the Galaxy and Chivas USA in Columbus later in 2014. Jimenez will surely make the most of his limited return home.
"Just California, the sunshine," answered when asked what he missed most about the Golden State.
"I went to school in the Bay Area. I have a lot of friends still there, so it will be good to see them and play well in front of them."
Soon after the Crew's 2014 primary kit was unveiled for Season Ticket Members and media at Bar Louie in the Arena District Tuesday night, club President Mark McCullers shared his excitement for the new jersey. The new kit's homage to the team's identity as "The Yellow Soccer Team" with Crew Gold and a few new features give it a classic, yet modern feel.
"I love the new jersey," McCullers said. "The gradient diamond pattern and our classic Crew Gold with black accents, I think it's just different enough but classic enough also.
"You see the gold you know it's the Crew."
The new primary kit is now available online and at the Crew Gear Store at Crew Stadium.
Goalkeeper Matt Lampson talks about the Black & Gold's team bonding at Medieval Times.
A sneak peek at what you can expect to see during MLS Jersey Week 2014.
A few players stopped by Crew Stadium on Tuesday afternoon to participate in marketing and video board shoots ahead of the upcoming season. Take a gander at some of the behind-the-scenes content from Instagram and look out for some of the videos to be featured during the 2014 season on Crew Stadium's new video board.
Crew Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk is no stranger to alternative modes of four-wheel transportation.The Southern California native can typically be seen every Friday during the summer months carving up the sidewalks of High Street, spreading his "Crew love" around Columbus on his skateboard while stopping into his favorite coffee shops and brew pubs.
Currently in Florida with the team for preseason training, Hejduk couldn't resist the urge to join some skaters at a local skatepark in Bradenton when the Black & Gold took part in beach training on Thursday. Hejduk took matters into his own hands, purchasing a board from a nearby pawn shop. This was the result of Brand Ambassador's impulse buy:
After three seasons in Chicago, Daniel Paladini joined the Crew on December 20, 2013. The 29-year-old caught-up with TheCrew.com during the Bradenton preseason trip so fans could get to know him better.
Coffee or tea in the morning?
Early riser or sleeping in on an off-day?
DP: Up early
Best gift card to receive as a gift and use?
DP: Starbucks or Best Buy
Favorite soccer match-up on TV to watch outside of MLS?
DP: Real Madrid versus Barcelona
Most recent movie you saw?
DP: Captain Phillips
One of the more memorable rounds of 18 holes?
DP: In Hawaii at Kaanapali Golf Course.
Celebrity you’d most want to have following you on social media?
DP: Russell Wilson, and not just because he just won a Super Bowl. He’s a man of faith.
How long did the tattoos on his arm take to complete? What are two of the best concerts he’s ever been to? Which former Crew player and current MLS player is Paladini’s sister married to? Learn more by checking out Paladini’s bio.
Crew Chairman and Investor-Operator Anthony Precourt recently talked at length with FOX Sports' Kyle McCarthy about his first few months owning the club and the updates coming to Crew Stadium in 2014. Everything from Michael Bradley's move to Toronto to the club's crest are covered in the interview.