When Chicago Fire midfielder and MLS debutant John Goossens bombed a left-footed ball out of danger near the Fire penalty area, he surely had little reason to believe it was a play that would lead to his first assist as a member of the Men In Red.
But such are the possibilities when Ghanaian Designated Player David Accam is the man on the receiving end of those clearances. With the Fire trailing 1-0 in the 14th minute, Accam set off on a 50-yard sprint past Orlando City SC defender Seb Hines, winning possession and slotting his shot past goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
Now a common sight for Chicago Fire fans, Accam’s elite pace continues to catch MLS defenders by surprise.
“I thought my positioning was pretty good,” Hines told MLSsoccer.com. “But (Accam’s) speed is just scary. I played against Theo Walcott of Arsenal when he was 17 and thought he was scary fast, but this kid is probably just as quick. It’s tough to go up against that.”
Orlando City boss Adrian Heath may have best summed up the absurdity of the scoring sequence.
“The ball is three-quarters of the way in their half. You don’t expect it five seconds later to end up in the back of our net,” he said. “It showed what the kid has in terms of what his strengths are, but we should’ve done better.”
Accam’s last 11 MLS matches dating back to last season -- a run that starts and ends with road goals vs. Orlando City SC -- have seen the speedster tally six goals and an assist. He remained a constant threat to unlock the Lions’ back line Friday, keeping Orlando City honest defensively even after the Fire were reduced to 10 men.
"David always gives his best for the team and his teammates also help him to perform,” said Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic. “It's important to have guys like him who can decide the game, [and also] a hard-working team who works with him and other strikers to score goals."