CHESTER, Pa. — Frustrated by a slow start to the season with his new team, David Accam feels like he’s primed for a breakthrough.
What better time for that to happen, the Philadelphia Union winger believes, than in Friday night’s nationally televised match (8 pm ET | ESPN - Full TV & Streaming Info) against an Orlando City SC side that he’s tormented throughout his career.
“I’ve scored a lot of goals vs. Orlando — the most I’ve scored in MLS against one team,” Accam told MLSsoccer.com after Wednesday’s training session. “For me, it’s a good opportunity to play against them. Hopefully I’ll have a great game.”
Accam has certainly enjoyed playing Orlando, having logged six goals and three assists in seven games vs. the Lions. Of course, the electric winger also had his way with a lot of opposing defenses during the last three seasons with Chicago, before the Union traded for him in the offseason and made him one of the centerpieces of their 2018 attack.
Things have since slowed down considerably for Accam, who has failed to register a goal or assist through his first four games in Philly. But it’s far too early to panic for him or Union head coach Jim Curtin, who believes the winger could already have scored “three or four goals” with some better bounces. And that’s even with opposing teams consistently “shading two players to his side” in all four contests.
“Teams prepare for good players and David’s a really good player,” Curtin said. “They’re paid to prevent him from having attacking actions. Thus far I’d say teams have done just an average job, to be honest. He’s created some havoc, he’s created some chances. It’s more of a matter of just the first one going in and we’ll all kinda forget about it.”
Adjusting to double-teams has been a challenge for Accam, as has meshing with striker CJ Sapong, fellow newcomer Borek Dockal and opposite-side winger Fafa Picault, who made his season debut in last week’s 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes following a three-game suspension. But Accam thinks the Union have a “good blend” in their revamped front four and that there’s enough quality in the group to “raise our [game] to a different level.”
Perhaps a harder adjustment has been moving to a new city. Accam is still living in a hotel as he looks for a place to live in Philly, one reason the it doesn't feel like home yet. But the 27-year-old Ghanaian knows that’s part of professional sports, and he’s ready to put his stamp on his new city — and his new team the next time he steps out on the field.
“I’m a little bit frustrated, that’s for sure,” Accam said. “I want to score and get assists. But I also have confidence in my abilities and what I can bring to the team. I also have confidence in the team. I just need one breakthrough, and everything will start coming up.”
Added Curtin: “I know his quality. I know he’s going to break out.”