Last Friday afternoon The Union made waves at the MLS Superdraft, but not by way of the draft. The Union pulled off a blockbuster trade for winger David Accam, as Jeff presented this past weekend. This is big money move where the Union used what is probably most of the allocation money they had from the 2017/2018 year. With speed to burn, and a knack for creating goals, Accam makes this Union team better. The addition of David Accam shifts the trajectory of the Union
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) January 19, 2018
Looking back at his time with Chicago Fire David was able to produce outstanding offensive numbers. Whether he was the only option, or as a piece to a complex puzzle Accam was able to create offense. Let’s take a closer look at how the Union’s newest player helped shift the shape of the Fire over three full seasons
Accam is a difference maker, even on a bad team:
In 2015 and 2016 the Chicago Fire were last in the Eastern conference. Their one bright spot was David Accam. Back in 2015 Chicago Scored 43 goals, Accam had 10 of them; in 2016 chicago had 42 goals, and Accam scored nine of them. Both of those season Accam accounted for over 20% of Chicago’s goals. He led the team in scoring those two seasons, and was Chicago’s only star player. This shows what he can do when he’s the main attacking threat. The Fire saw this and tried to build around their already established MLS veteran
With pieces around him, Accam can be even more dangerous:
Last season Chicago added three star players around Accam and they became a force in the eastern conference. Adding a star Striker in Nemanja Nikolic, and quality central midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty. These players helped take some of the attention away from Accam, resulting in career highs for David (14 goals, eight assists). The midfielders knew they could play balls behind the defense to Accam to create offense. Having Nikolic take pressure off Accam created more space for him to sneak past defenses with his pace. So what kind of difference maker will Accam be for the Union?
The Union can now find a distinct style:
“@iamdavidaccam is a guy whos known in our league for his speed, but when we scouted him we also noted just how good he is on the ball and the different things and dynamics that he brings to a team and the space he creates for others because he is so dangerous” #DOOP pic.twitter.com/7YELGzcCo6
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) January 23, 2018
As the Union were scouting David Accam they saw that he checked off all their boxes in what they were looking for. He is the perfect player for the way the Union want to play. The Union have been trending towards being a team that plays a counter-attacking style of soccer. The Union were looking for the right player to create instant offense. Accam does this. Now the Union can concentrate on sitting in, absorbing pressure, and then creating instant offense through their front three.
Think of how last season the Union failed to generate offense quickly when they turned teams over. Now everyone knows the prerogative. Win the ball, get it to Medunjanin or Bedoya, have them find Picault and Accam streaking past defenders, and have Sapong get into good spots to put chances home. This style of play was something the Union tried to create last season, but they lacked the speed on the right-wing and the ability to finish chance. With Accam they can become the team they’ve wanted to be.
David Accam shifts the trajectory of Union:
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) January 22, 2018
Accam, and his ability to create offense, has the ability to change the trajectory of the Philadelphia Union. While they still need to see production from whoever is in the number 10 role, and will still have to do better defensively, the Union should be able to finish better than they did last season. With this addition the Union should be able to compete for the lower playoff spots. However if they do add another attacking piece, that Earnie Stewart has said he’s pursuing in this window, then the Union would be a bona-fide playoff team in 2018.
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Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports