David Accam unleashed a year-and-a-half’s worth of emotions in a single, electric moment on Saturday night.
Upon scoring the first of his two goals in the Union’s 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew at Talen Energy Stadium, Accam sunk to his knees in a joyous celebration. The multiple surgeries he needed to fix a sports hernia injury were finally in his past, and he looked like the player he couldn’t be while hampered last season.
On top of that, Accam revealed after the game that his father, Michael, died of cancer a few days ago in their native Ghana.
It all poured out in the 31st minute, after Accam wrong-footed Columbus goalkeeper Joe Bendik with a low shot to the far post.
“It wasn’t planned — I just scored, and everything just came out,” Accam said. “I just knew my dad was watching this game, wherever he is.”
His finish capped off a pretty move down the field by the Union (1-2-1, 4 points). Haris Medunjanin played a pass ahead for Fafa Picault, who split the Crew back line with a through ball for Accam to run on to. He took a settling touch, kept going, and finished the job.
The second goal came 10 minutes later, from another spell of good passing. Medunjanin set the table, Accam stiff-armed a defender, then shook off another, and stuck a shot in at Bendik’s near post.
Ilsinho delivered the third goal just after halftime, pouncing on a loose ball in the 18-yard box and bashing it in off the crossbar. Accam was credited with an assist in the build-up.
Accam also did his part on defense, delivering three clearances, two tackles, and an interception.
The win was made even more impressive by the fact that the Union’s game-day roster had just 16 players, two short of the usual number. In addition to all the players injured, suspended, or with national teams, new midfielder Jamiro Monteiro’s paperwork wasn’t cleared in time for him to play. Manager Jim Curtin’s bench had a goalkeeper, two centerbacks, a right back, and a central midfielder.
“A week [that was] maybe the most unique of my coaching career,” Curtin said. “We probably had four to five different lineups selected and were training them during the course of the week. Hoping for the best scenario, we got the absolute worst scenario.”
Columbus (2-1-1, 7 points) also was missing a lot of players because of international duty, so the Crew weren’t at a huge advantage, but they had a full bench.