Impact trade striker Jack McInerney
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MONTREAL - Striker Jack McInerney didn't want to leave the Montreal Impact even if the arrival of former Chelsea star Didier Drogba would likely leave him on the bench.
McInerney was dealt to the Columbus Crew for a 2016 second round draft pick on Tuesday to open roster space for Drogba and newly signed Costa Rican midfielder Johan Venegas.
"I wanted to be here," said the 22-year-old McInerney, adding that understands why he was the one the club opted to trade away.
"This team likes big name forwards and I'm a younger guy coming up," he said. "It's just one of those things where I think I deserve to play now and I've done well when I've been on the field and I'm not playing.
"With everything put together, the salary situation and players brought in, it just doesn't work out."
He said his agent began talks on a contract exstension with Montreal a month ago, but they were put on hold when Drogba came into the picture.
McInerney, who earns US$270,000 this season, ran hot and cold with Montreal since he was acquired in April, 2014 from Philadelphia for forward Andrew Wenger. He spent last season mostly as an understudy to Italian veteran Marco Di Vaio.
Even with Drogba, whose debut is expected in a week or two, McInerney felt he would get some playing time in the Impact's busy second half schedule, which includes games in the Amway Canadian Championship.
McInerney had 11 goals in 43 MLS matches for Montreal, but he excelled in Cup games with four goals in six Canadian Championship appearances and three in five CONCACAF Champions League games.
Lately, coach Frank Klopas has preferred Dominic Oduro over McInerney.
Asked if he got a fair chance in Montreal, McInerney said: "I wouldn't say fair chance because when I was on the field I played really well."
But he said he got on well with Klopas even if he didn't always agree with his decisions.
He looks forward to getting started with Columbus, where MLS scoring leader Kai Kamara is the top striker.
"I have family in Columbus so that will be nice," he said. "I know the team plays pretty similar to Montreal, usually a 4-5-1. They have a lot of attacking talent as well."