CHESTER, Pa.– As David Accam saw his first goal of the Philadelphia Union’s 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew go into the back of the net, he let out a storm of emotions.
Accam was playing with a heavy heart after the passing of his father from cancer earlier this week.
“(The celebration) wasn’t planned. I just scored and everything came out,” Accam said. “I felt emotional and I just knew my dad was watching this game, wherever he is, so everything just came out.
“That’s why I’m really sad because I was planning on bringing him here this year to watch to some of our games.,” Accam said. “Today was for him.”
Union captain Alejandro Bedoya was one of the last players to reach Accam during the celebration, but he delivered one of the more meaningful messages to the Ghanaian.
“The first thing I said to him in the celebration, I was one of the last ones to come in, and saw he was emotional and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “You see what we talk about all the time, you gotta be mentally strong.” and he showed it there,” Bedoya said.
“I’m happy for him,” Bedoya said. “We ride every day together. I pick him up on the way to training and I drop him off on the way back. We always have conversations about how to stay emotionally and physically motivated and come into training and keep doing your thing because when you get your chance, you have to make the most of it. Credit to him for keeping his head in the game and when he had a couple of chances today he made the most of them.”
Accam, who was hindered by a sports hernia injury in 2018, bagged a first-half brace for the Union, while Ilsinho contributed a second-half strike in the team’s first victory since October 6 against Minnesota United.
“It feels great for me, personally, I’ve had a tough time on and off the field,” Accam said. “Today is amazing to get my first two goals in a home game for the club.”
After 30 minutes of lackluster offensive play from both sides, Accam brought the crowd to life as he sneaked a shot from the left side of the box into the bottom-right corner of the penalty area.
Jack Elliott started the move forward by making a tackle 10 yards from the center circle. The center back’s interception allowed the Union to surge through the Crew defense, with Haris Medunjanin and Fafa Picault sending the ball along before it reached the feet of Accam.
“Haris played that ball in and was nicely weighted,” Picault said. “It gave me enough to turn and just play it through. People just think I’m fast and I don’t have feet so I got to show that today.”
Ten minutes later, Accam added to his tally by working through a few defenders at the top of the box and slotting a shot to the near side of Joe Bendik and into the left side of the net.
“I’m not shocked,” Picault said. “Obviously a lot of people forget a lot of things in soccer in a few months or a week. David has done what he’s done already in the league so it’s not a shock to me. It’s just another one of his performances. It’s what I expect from him. I train with everyday and he’s a good player. I want to put him in confident positions and he does what he does.”
Ilsinho added his name to the scoresheet three minutes into the second half. His shot from the right side of the box rattled off the crossbar and over the line. The Brazilian’s strike was his 15th for the Union and it moved him up to seventh all-time on the team’s scoring chart.
The Union controlled play for the rest of the contest, limiting the Crew to one shot on target, which forced an easy save from Carlos Miguel Coronel in the first half.
The Union are back in action Saturday for a visit to expansion side FC Cincinnati, while the Crew next face Atlanta United.