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The Crew’s short-term deal for Accam is a ‘win-win’

Both the Black & Gold and Accam should benefit from his one-year stint in Columbus.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

David Accam won’t be a member of Columbus Crew SC very long, but the winger wants to make the most of his time with the Black & Gold.

When Accam met with Caleb Porter for the first time shortly after being traded from the Philadelphia Union, he told the Crew head coach “I’m happy to be here and I want to win trophies here.” At that point, few knew that Accam would only have a few months to bring those desired championships to his new city.

It was announced on Thursday that Accam will be dealt to Nashville SC, Major League Soccer’s 2020 expansion side. The move will be completed on Jan. 1, 2020 and Accam will be one of the new MLS team’s first players.

Few knew, but the Crew knew. So did Accam.

“That was a part of the deal, always,” Porter said. “It was the only way to get him. So it was that simple, that was part of the deal. It just wasn’t announced because we couldn’t finalize it before we announced the other things. It was all part of the package and the deal and it obviously made sense for us because we could basically get a really good piece, attacking piece, which helps us now and really pay nothing for it. So it’s a good bit of business on our part.”

After sending $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, $400,000 in General Allocation Money and an International Roster Spot for the 2019 season to the Union for Accam, the Black & Gold received $350,000 in General Allocation Money and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.

If you’re keeping track at home, Columbus essentially paid $50,000 in General Allocation Money and a 2019 international slot to acquired a veteran of MLS with 38 career goals and 17 career assists for the remainder of the season. Given the Crew’s recent struggles offensively — just 12 goals in 13 games — the club was happy to make that move.

For Accam, this move works as well. Although he’d played in eight games in Philadelphia this season before the trade, only four of those were starts. He was also being used as a forward once the Union changed formations, instead of his normal winger spot. With the Black & Gold, Accam should feature regularly and play in a wide attacking role that better suits his skills.

“I think it’s a win-win,” Porter said. “We get him for six months, he’s a good player. He gets us where he can play and play in a role that fits him… So it’s a win-win.”

While it is uncommon to see a player traded and then traded again so quickly, that is not really what happened with this move. As Porter said, Accam going to Nashville was always part of the plan but the deal had to be done in two separate trades.

In soccer, players get loaned to a club for a full or even half a season all over the world. Just last week, the Black & Gold sent defender Lalas Abubakar to the Colorado Rapids on loan and received $125,000 in Target Allocation Money. This is essentially a similar move but Columbus paid less money and got a more proven commodity in Accam.

The move will also not hinder any future transactions the Crew plan on making. After trading Justin Meram to Atlanta United on May 7, the Black & Gold became thin at the winger position but weren’t able to bring in another player. The Accam deal gives Columbus the type of player they were looking for while still allowing for a permanent piece to be acquired.

“We know we have David to help us now and that’s good because we weren’t really able to make a move in that first window,” Porter explained. “So we can think about the now and know that he’s going to be gone, which allows us to prepare for the future as well. So it’s a short- and long-term plan that we have and we would expect, hopefully, we’re looking to possibly add a piece in the summer, which allows to succession plan for that position with probably a similar profile.”

While Accam is excited for what will come in joining an expansion team in Nashville in 2020, he understands that he has a job to do with the Crew and that is the center of his attention. He also now has the opportunity to win those trophies he spoke about to Porter with two close friends and countrymen, Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah.

“I feel I’m just excited to be here and at the moment, my focus is with Columbus,” he said. “I want to be playing and I want to contribute to help this team get to our goals. So I’m just excited. Nashville is a long-term project and that’s next year. So for now, my focus is here and trying to help this team.”