Philadelphia Union have announced that they have signed midfielder Adam Najem after acquiring his right of first refusal from New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls traded the right of first refusal to Najem to Philadelphia, while Philadelphia traded their 2018 Natural 2nd Round SuperDraft pick to the Red Bulls.
“We are excited to acquire the rights to Adam and sign him as a member of Philadelphia Union,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. “He is a player that has shown his abilities throughout his collegiate career and continued that this preseason. Adam is a player that provides depth for us and we are thrilled to see what he will bring to our club.”
Najem was a highly sought after athlete in high school. The midfielder was the No.1 ranked recruit in the state of New Jersey and No. 7 midfielder in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Najem led his U-16 Academy team to the national title in 2012 while recording the game-winning assist. Najem was ranked No. 35 on ESPNHS’s Top 150 Class of 2013 before signing with Akron.
Najem shined his freshman year at Akron. He was an All-MAC first-team honoree and was regarded as one of the top freshmen in the country with a team-best nine assists and four goals. He finished the season with 17 points, good for second best on the club. His nine assists were the second-highest total recorded by a freshman in the country in 2013.
His sophomore year proved to be his breakout year. Najem started all 21 matches for the Zips and recorded a career-high 14 goals while registering four assists. His 32 points recorded were the most he accumulated in his collegiate career. Najem was also a perfect six-for-six in penalty kicks for the Zips.
At the end of his sophomore campaign, Najem was named to the first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection as well as earning MAC All-Tournament accolades. He was twice named as MAC Player of the Week and was selected as a first-team 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire All-Great Lakes Region selection. Najem was also named a first-team All-Ohio honoree by Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association
Najem started all 24 matches his junior year at Akron, showing a remarkable display of consistency and durability. Najem found the back of the net 10 times, while recording a career-high 11 assists. Najem led the Zips in assists (11), points (31), shots (69), shots on goal (31) and game-winners (4).
In his four years at the University of Akron, Najem totaled 89 appearances (87 starts) over his collegiate career, scoring 33 goals and adding 29 assists, with 95 points. He was named the 2016 MAC Player of the Year and was a four-time first-team All-Mid-American Conference honoree. Additionally, the midfielder was named a Second-Team NSCAA All-American in 2015 and a Third-Team NSCAA All-American in 2016. He is also a two-time First Team NSCAA Academic All-American (2015, 2016) in his senior season.
TRANSACTION: New York Red Bulls trade the Right of First Refusal to Adam Najem to Philadelphia. The Union traded their 2018 Natural 2nd Round SuperDraft pick to New York Red Bulls.
Name: Adam Najem
Born: January 19, 1995 in Wayne, New Jersey
Hometown: Clifton, New Jersey
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: New York Red Bulls trade the Right of First Refusal to Adam Najem to Philadelphia. The Union traded their 2018 Natural 2nd Round SuperDraft pick to New York Red Bulls.
Previous Experience: University of Akron (2013-2016)