The composition of the Fire's attack for 2015 became a lot clearer this evening, as the Men in Red announced the consummation of the rumored signing of Ghanaian forward David Accam from Helsingborg. Accam, 24, will occupy the second of the club's three Designated Player spots for 2015.
Accam's narrative is compelling. Should he succeed in Chicago, we will hear much about the fact that, after his discovery by a Right to Dream Academy scout on the gravel pitches of Accra, he won an academic scholarship to Hartpury College in England. While there, he honed his game playing semi-pro - his student visa wouldn't allow him to play professionally, like an NCAA player somehow stranded in England.
After a couple of years in Merry Olde, Accam signed for Swedish third-division side Ostersund. He only stayed a few months there, tearing the semi-pro defenses limb from limb and scoring eight goals in half a season before signing with Helsingborg in the Allsvenskan, the Swedish top flight.
Hot (Time) take
Accam's primary tools are his speed, his anticipatory aggressiveness and his increasingly clinical finishing. Watch that highlight video again - he's electric with the ball, and not a bit shy about letting it rip. MLS defenders will absolutely hate playing against him if he brings this form to the league.
I've written before about defenders hating to play against Quincy Amarikwa, and this is a different thing. Against Quincy, it's mostly about the grind - he's tireless, and very physical, and uses leverage in cunning ways, but top centerbacks can stay with him. Doing so sucks, and can make it feel like one's soul is draining out through the soles of one's feet, but it's completely possible. It's just about fortitude.
Accam represents an entirely different threat - the posterizer. When he's on, when the ball falls to him in a bit of space and the two center backs are caught having to turn, there's the chance that something is about to happen that will divide time between before that thing happened, and after. And being one of the supplicants in attendance at one of those coronations, one of the unfortunates in the other team's mufti? That's horrifying.
Of course there are chances for it all to go wrong. But there are also chances for it all to go right; for Accam and Iggy to tear the league up, for Magee and Nyarko to come back just as they're fading a bit; and most of the success, now, will depend on the pieces they add to play further back on the field. But there's a DP slot left, and Yallop and Bliss (and, say it quietly, Hauptman?) seem to be on a roll. We shall judge all, as usual, by results, those cruel, indisputable curmudgeons.