Player of the Week / Union

Player of the Week: David Accam

Photo: Ryan Griffith

David Accam did two important things Saturday beyond just leading Philadelphia Union to victory with two goals and an assist.

  1. He reminded everyone just how good he can be.
  2. He gave you a reason to care.

Think about it.

When you saw David Accam go down with emotion after he scored his first goal, hands pointing toward the sky, tears seemingly about to burst, you had to be thinking, “Yeah, it was a tough 2018, but I didn’t know it was that tough.”

It was only later that we learned his father had died just days before the game.

Nobody knew. And nobody would have known if we hadn’t seen Accam’s reaction, because Accam hadn’t advertised it.

It said a lot about Accam off the field.

This was a guy who played poorly last year but never publicly chalked it up to injury. He never provided excuses. He never really complained. And he got saddled with the label of being MLS’s biggest transfer bust of the year. (It was an award the Union were familiar with after the Jay Simpson signing.) When he ended his season early due to hernia surgery, it was left to outsiders to interpret that this a primary cause of Accam’s on-field problems in 2018.

By his colleagues’ accounts, what Accam did was continue to work hard, be a solid teammate, and give his best. It’s one thing to hear that from old friends like Alejandro Bedoya, who played with Accam previously with Helsinborg. It’s another to hear direct positional competitors like Fafa Picault say it.

On Saturday, in what was — it’s early, but let’s admit it — a must-win game, we finally saw what the Union expected on the field last year from Accam. He played a part in every one of the Union’s three goals, scoring two and assisting on the third. In one game, he scored more goals than he had all of last year.

It’s more accurate to describe Accam’s performance on Saturday as opportunistic than dominant. His only key pass created a goal. Two of his three shots created goals, one by squeaking past Columbus goalkeeper Joe Bendik through the smallest near post gap, and the other by pegging the far post and bouncing in.

Essentially, when Accam got his chances, he was clinical.

That’s exactly what the Union have needed.

Honorable mention
  • Kai Wagner. The German left back has been solid through four games and has everyone wondering if the Curse of Jordan Harvey has passed.
  • Union technical staff. We don’t give these guys Player of the Week awards, but it stood out to at least one PSP staffer that Haris Medunjanin and Alejandro Bedoya were playing closer together in a defensive pairing in the 4-2-3-1, which helped contain Columbus playmaker Federico Higuain.


  1. If Accam finds his form, it could mean good things for the Union. Team could really use some things to go its way.

    • Agreed. It’s really been obvious that the thing most lacking on the Union’s forward roster has been pace/finishing. Fafa and Accam and apparently Santos all have wheels and I’m excited to see what they can do to put pressure on opposing defenders.
      Hopefully it also translates to goals, because they’re creating a buku number of chances. I’m a firm believer that we can make our own luck.

  2. Starting to like Accam more and more!

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