We’re continuing our Nashville SC report cards with a look at winger David Accam.
Matches played: 7
Minutes played: 239
Goals added: 0.33 (37th among MLS wingers)
xG+xA: 1.00 (92nd among MLS wingers)
Average Speedway Soccer rating: 6.7
Average WhoScored rating: 6.2
What went right in 2020?
Accam arrived in Nashville for a nice chunk of allocation money ($450,000 to be exact) and with high expectations. A couple seasons removed from his MVP-calibre season in Chicago, Accam had struggled for consistent form in Philadelphia and Columbus, but was clearly signed as a first-choice player for Nashville.
He started the season as Gary Smith’s preferred right-winger, starting against Atlanta and Portland, and then scored the late winner for Nashville’s first-ever MLS victory against FC Dallas.
What went wrong in 2020?
To start the season, Accam’s home was destroyed by the tornado that ripped through Nashville, forcing he and his pregnant wife to relocate. This came just a few months after his father lost his battle with cancer. In addition to that and welcoming a newborn in the midst of a pandemic, Accam suffered a series of minor injuries that kept him out of the squad from early September through the end of the year.
A lot was made of Accam’s absence from the squad for the final three months of the season, with speculation of a rift between he and the coaching staff. In reality, while he was not always listed on the injury report, the series of injuries he suffered meant he couldn’t reach the fitness level needed to make a match-day squad.
It was a difficult enough couple years that Accam told Ghanaian outlet CitiSports that he considered retiring from professional soccer.
What needs to improve in 2021?
Accam needs to stay healthy in 2021. Although he’s 30, he’s still one of the quickest players in MLS, and he’s a rare type of one-versus-one attacker in this Nashville squad.
Despite a nightmarish 2020 season on and off the field and being labeled a bust by some vocal corners of the Nashville SC fanbase, Accam still has a unique skill set that should make him a valuable member of this squad. If he can stay healthy, expect him to contribute.
Most memorable moment
Accam made fantastic solo run and finish late in Nashville’s return to play to give the expansion side their first-ever win in MLS. A moment for the history books.