Philadelphia Union today announced that it has acquired midfielder David Accam from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a total of $1.2 million in allocation money. The breakdown of allocation money is as follows: (i) $400,000 Targeted Allocation (expiring 8/31/2019), (ii) $200,000 General Allocation (expiring 5/31/2019), (iii) $100,000 of General Allocation to be disbursed by the league at the conclusion of the 2018 season (expiring 5/31/2020), (iv) $500,000 of Targeted Allocation to be disbursed by the league at the conclusion of the 2018 season (expiring 8/31/2020).
Primarily a winger, Accam joins the Union following three seasons with the Fire, over which he scored 33 goals and added 15 assists. He scored at least nine goals in each of his three campaigns with Chicago.
Since he came to MLS in 2015, Accam is one of just six MLS players to total at least 33 goals and 15 assists in league play. He is joined in that club by the last three MLS Landon Donovan MVP Award winners in Sebastian Giovinco, David Villa and Diego Valeri, as well as Ignacio Piatti and Kei Kamara.
“Today’s acquisition of David Accam marks an exciting moment for our club, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Philadelphia Union,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “David possesses electrifying speed and skill to go along with a nose for goal comparable to the very best in MLS. We believe him to be a perfect fit as we continue to build our attacking corps. He provides an instant boost on the wing and we look forward to integrating him with our team as soon as possible.”
Accam has been one of the best attackers in Major League Soccer since joining the league. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, his 33 total goals ranks 13th among all players, one ahead of new teammate CJ Sapong. He has completed 198 dribbles over that span, second-most in MLS (trailing only Ignacio Piatti, 204), and his 16 shots from fast breaks also ranks second (behind only Fanendo Adi, 17).
The midfielder began his path toward becoming a professional in his native Ghana, where he played at the Right to Dream academy from 2004-2008 – the same institution that helped develop current Union player Josh Yaro.
He then moved to England on an academic scholarship, where he would play for Ledbury Town and Evesham United while on a student visa. He then took part in “The Chance” competition, hosted by Nike, which sought to find undiscovered soccer talent. He earned the opportunity to spend the 2011-2012 season at the Nike Academy. Following his time there, he signed for Swedish side Östersund in 2012, quickly impressing with nine goals in 14 matches before moving to topflight club Helsingborg later that year.
Again making an immediate impact, Accam scored three times in nine Allsvenskan matches for Helsingborg in 2012, adding two goals in five Swedish Cup contests. In 2013, he notched 16 goals over 41 matches, including 10 tallies in 27 league games and six goals in six Cup contests, helping his side reach the final. He also appeared in the UEFA Europa League as well as UEFA Champions League qualification.
His dominance continued into the 2014 campaign, where he scored 17 times in 26 Allsvenskan contests, bringing his total with the club to 38 over 81 appearances across all competitions. After the season, he moved to the United States, joining Chicago as a Designated Player.
During his first year with the Fire, in 2015, he scored 10 goals en route to winning the club’s MVP and Golden Boot award, two feats that he repeated in 2016 following a nine-goal, five-assist campaign. Last year, he continued his run of consistency with a 14-goal, eight-assist season, helping the Fire reach the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Internationally, Accam has registered nine caps for Ghana, making his debut in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (January 19, 2015 vs. Senegal), helping Ghana finish as runners-up in the tournament. He scored his first international goal later that year in Africa Cup of Nations qualification vs. Mauritius (June 14, 2015). Last summer, he appeared against Union teammate Alejandro Bedoya in an international friendly, coming on at halftime vs. the USA in his most recent cap (July 1, 2017).
TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union acquires midfielder David Accam from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a total of $1.2 million in allocation money.
Name: David Accam
Born: September 28, 1990
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Acquired: Acquired from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a total of $1.2 million in allocation money.
Previous Experience: Chicago Fire (2015-2017), Helsingborg (2012-2014), Östersund (2012), Evesham United (2010-2011), Ledbury Town (2009-2010)