Press Conference

Union introduce David Accam, announce contract through 2020

Photo: Nick Fishman

The biggest news of David Accam’s introductory press conference came at its conclusion.

The speedy winger is under Philadelphia Union control through the 2020 season.

When asked, Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart stated, “Our understanding is David has an obligation now with the Union through 2020.”

Never mind the phrasing. The Union’s most notable addition in franchise history is under contract for three seasons, not the initially believed one year.

That’s huge.

It sounded as if the extension was initially put in place by Chicago Fire, Accam’s old club. That extension helps explain the sizable sell-on fees included in the transaction. The risk of losing the Union’s newest designated player after one season was the only thing dampening such a major addition to the club, especially considering the $1.2 million in GAM and TAM the Union gave the Fire in exchange.

As far as how the deal with Chicago transpired, Stewart said, “Up until the draft it was in conversations, but it didn’t really go anywhere. The draft gave more fluidity.” Curtin also mentioned the club had identified Accam as its top target early in the offseason.

The news that didn’t break, however, was the unveiling of a new home kit. It’s somewhat surprising considering Accam was wearing the new jersey on his arrival to Philadelphia. Instead, the photo-op featured the Ghanaian winger holding up the current away top (seen above) flanked by Stewart and head coach Jim Curtin.

Maybe the next Union addition will be the one holding up a new jersey—perhaps with hoops instead of the traditional golden column down the center.

Yet in regard to another signing, Stewart had little to say.

“I think we’re in a good place,” Stewart said, but he went on to state that “there will be a little more happening but not much more.” Curtin later mentioned the club is looking to add one more player. Both the sporting director and head coach remained coy when asked if that could be a third and final designated player.

But the addition of Accam was the focus today, and rightfully so. In what had been a quiet off-season, the Union stole the show at the MLS SuperDraft last week in Philadelphia. Accam may be the most talented winger the organization has had.  It truly was an “incredibly exciting day in the Philadelphia Union’s brief history,” as stated by Curtin.

Curtin followed with, “We talked about the need for a difference maker.” Accam is surely that.

A brief aside

The Right to Dream Academy had a big week at the draft, with three of the seven Generation Adidas players graduating from their system. Accam, as you may have heard, is also a product of Right to Dream.

Besides being a supremely talented player, Curtin spoke to the quality person that Accam is, saying that the player’s goal is “to see the next David Accam” come through Right to Dream. He is a role model not just for the young players currently with the club, but also kids in Ghana hoping to reach a brighter future.

Accam did that with the help of the Right to Dream Academy. When discussing it, Accam said, “They develop players from a young age…they have quality coaches. It makes [you] a better player and an even better human being.”

6 Comments

  1. Nice to hear he is going to be here for a while!!

  2. The new jersey is such a letdown. Don’t be cowards. Make the hoops gold, not just a darker shade of blue. Be bold. Make it a unique kit that everyone knows is the Union.

  3. If the Union don’t sign a third DP, then they will prove themselves to be dishonest with their fan base. My expectation from previous quotes/interviews was that they were ready to spend some money this year. Accam is a great acquisition, but it was done without any real cost to the ownership group. From a salary standpoint, I’m assuming it’s basically swapping for Mo Edu…in essence maintaining the status quo. In addition, a “DP” at the million dollar level is hardly showing any ambition when the league keeps adding more an more DPs in the $5 million range. I’m thankful for progress, but worried that it’s just barely “keeping up,” and not a sign of any true ambition. I hope I’m wrong.

  4. Section 114 (Former) says:

    Everything is good with Accam.
    .
    But this team needs two more starting pieces — a #10 and a LB. There’s no debate. It’s not news. And it’s not something that just happened this offseason.
    .
    Get it done. Ideally before camp.

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