Jack McInerney scored as many goals in his last game as the New England Revolution have all season, and they know first-hand just how formidable he can be.
The MLS scoring leader looks to provide more heartbreak for the woeful Revolution on Saturday night when the visiting Philadelphia Union try to remain unbeaten in this series.
The 20-year-old McInerney has six goals, including four in the past three games to take the league lead. The second multigoal effort of his four-year career came last Saturday, scoring twice in the first 26 minutes of a 3-2 victory over D.C.
"He's very dangerous and someone that you have to be very cautious of and always have an eye of where he is," New England coach Jay Heaps told his team's official website.
Heaps would know.
McInerney has scored in four of his last five games against New England. He had the game-winner in each of Philadelphia's three victories in the series since the start of last season - the only other meeting in that span was a scoreless draw. McInerney has just five shots on goal in those four games.
"He doesn't average a ton of touches," Heaps said, "but when he gets them, they're dangerous."
While the Revolution (1-3-2) have a league-low two goals, Philadelphia (3-2-2) has scored at least once in every game and 10 overall.
"We have a lot of attacking talent, a lot of guys that can score goals and create chances," McInerney said. "I think it just comes down to that day if guys are on."
That's often been the case against the Revolution, with the Union owning a 5-0-3 record against them. New England hasn't scored in the last three meetings, including a 1-0 defeat in Philadelphia on March 16 as McInerney provided the difference in the 76th minute.
The Union are 2-0-1 on the road in this series, outscoring the Revolution 5-1.
Philadelphia hasn't been as good defensively of late, allowing six goals in the past four games. Defender Raymon Gaddis is looking for his unit to improve after letting United score twice - on just four shots on goal - to double their season output last week.
"It's kind of unsettling for us as a defense for us not to give up so many shots but concede see so many goals," Gaddis said. "... We're trying to get shutouts now."
The Revolution had been shut out in four straight matches before a 4-1 loss at New York last Saturday. However, it was an own goal that ended their scoreless drought at 394 minutes, dating to a season-opening 1-0 win in Chicago.
New England is hopeful Saer Sene can make more of an impact after being used as a substitute for the last two games in his return following offseason knee surgery. He had a team-high 11 goals last year.
This will be the Revolution's first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings, and Heaps admitted after last week's game that the tragedy was a distraction.
"It's a tough situation," he said. "... We'd like to think you can step on the field and keep your focus."