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Massive Acquisition: Meet the Crew’s newest winger, David Accam

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The Crew add pace and a dynamic scoring history to their roster.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Philadelphia Union Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday it was announced that Columbus Crew SC had acquired winger David Accam from Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation funds and a 2019 international roster spot. Fans of the Black & Gold should be familiar with the pacey winger, who has scored five goals and tallied one assist in nine career games versus Columbus while playing for Eastern Conference foes the Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union.

Two of those goals came last March when Accam netted a brace versus the Crew in a 3-0 victory by Philadelphia. Accam’s first goal came in the 31st minute when he received a precise through ball, split Crew defenders Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah and hit a far-post strike off the inside post.

Accam has the knack of scoring funky goals. Only 10 minutes after netting his first goal, Accam completed the first-half brace by using his pace to stretch the Crew backline, received the through ball, beat Gaston Sauro, somehow maintained possession of the ball while fending off Afful and snuck it by Joe Bendik at the near post. It was as fluky of a goal as you will see. Given the Crew’s recent goal-scoring struggles (or having them erroneously negated), a goal of any kind, fluky or not, is welcome.

David Accam Scouting Report

What specific attributes does the newly acquired winger bring to Columbus? As previously mentioned, his prime attribute is his pace and speed with and without the ball at his feet. At one point he may have been the fastest player in Major League Soccer, though it can be argued he has lost a half of a step in recent years, but he still easily in the top 1% of speedsters in MLS.

He debuted in MLS with Chicago Fire in 2015, accumulating 10 goals and two assists. As dangerous and dynamic as Accam was in his rookie season in the league, he had a reputation of being selfish and a “ball hog”. He was known for erratically taking on multiple defenders and neglecting his teammates rather than passing. Over time, he has developed into a more well-rounded winger and teammate.

The speedy Ghanaian international has posted double-digit goal season totals in MLS twice in four full seasons. His most acclaimed campaign was in 2017 where he earned career highs in games played (30), games started (24), goals (14), assists (8), shots (66) and shot on goal (36).

Ultimately, Accam will give Columbus the much-needed ability to run in behind an opposing backline. In reviewing the two previously mentioned goals, Accam is slotted as a winger but skewers the Crew right through the heart of the defense. He also brings the added dimension of being able to take players on 1 v 1. His pace will keep opposing defenses honest and create space for the entire Crew attack.

Where Does Accam Fit?
Crew head coach Caleb Porter has been adamant since day one on the job that his wingers need to score a handful of goals per season for the team to succeed. Accam comes to Columbus with one-third as many goals scored this season as the entire Crew roster.

Accam’s talent is abundant but he has been inconsistent at times and dealt with sporadic injury spells. Often a change of scenery brings the best out of a player. With the Union moving away from using pure wingers, it makes sense for Philadelphia to deal a high-priced player who no longer fits. However, he should fit nicely in Columbus and will likely be utilized immediately.

David Accam 101

A graduate of the Right to Dream Academy and one of eight players selected in “The Chance,” a worldwide search by Nike to discover unearthed soccer talents, Accam turned pro in 2012, when he signed with Swedish club Osterunds FK. (Credit: mlssoccer.com)

MLS Statistics:
Games Played – 110
Games Started – 84
Goals – 38
Assists – 17
Shots - 251
Shots on goal - 119