Adam Najem is the newest Union signing. The 22-year-old midfielder offers another great piece of depth for Philly. The product of Akron University, and former New York Red Bull homegrown product, has a great opportunity to grow with Philadelphia. He is a playmaker who is great in the number ten role. This addition will prove to be useful when the players ahead of him on the depth chart, Alberg and Bedoya, need rest. He is impressive while on the ball, always looking to link passes, and move forward. What’s more impressive, however, is the way the Union went about signing him. The process of signing Adam Najem is one that should go down as one of the smartest signings ever by the Union front office.
Najem was set to become an MLS player this year, but the avenue he took to become one was not so clear. Offered a minimum salary of $51,500 by the Red Bulls, he could have just joined the Union’s rivals as a homegrown. New York would go no higher than the minimum price. Najem wanted to be on the higher end of the rookie salary wage. Since the Red Bulls would not budge on the price, they decided to shop his homegrown rights. Had he gone to MLS SuperDraft, he would have been a top 10 caliber pick. When the Union saw their rivals were shopping his rights, they jumped at the opportunity to pursue him.
The youngster was a surprising new face at the start of Union camp. He came in and impressed, and got himself a contract! He will continue to grow with this growing team, that looks ready to contend now. It still needs to be said how smart this move was for the Union.
The actual transaction for Najem looks like this: New York Red Bulls trade the Right of First Refusal to Adam Najem to Philadelphia. The Union traded their 2018 Natural 2nd Round SuperDraft pick to New York Red Bulls. The Union traded away their second round pick of next years draft, for a potential top ten pick from this past draft had Najem entered. This is incredibly smart on the parts of Earnie Stewart and Chris Albright. These two have totally revamped this team. This signing is essentially the Union getting a top ten first round draft pick. Which is monumental, especially since Philly didn’t have a first round pick this past draft. The Najem deal is the icing on the cake for an offseason full of smart moves. let’s look at some of the newest signings accolades.
While with the Red Bull’s academy U-16 team, Najem won the 2012 Academy championships. In the game he assisted on the title-winning goal. After his academy days, he was the No. 1 collegiate recruit from New Jersey. He then committed to Akron University. During his time at Akron, Najem totaled 89 appearances (87 starts). He was an offensive powerhouse notching 33 goals and 29 assists, totaling 95 points. This past season, he was MAC Player of the Year. Throughout his Akron career was a four-time first-team All-Mid-American Conference honoree. Here’s how the new signee felt after inking the contract.
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) February 8, 2017
Come back to Philly Sports Network tomorrow for more news on another promising young Union player, Austin Trusty. Until then, peace out Union fans!