Chicago Fire midfielder David Accam, the MVP of the team in 2015 who opened the 2016 season scoring two goals in the team’s first two games, missed Saturday’s home 0-0 tie with Columbus and will miss the chance to play for the Ghanaian National Team’s qualifying matches due to an injured left knee.
“Of course this is a disappointment – this is huge for me,’’ Accam said Saturday. “Missing this game was big and missing to play with the Ghanaian team…it’s tough but it’s also part of the game. I just need to be stronger and come out stronger again.’’
Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said he hoped Accam could come back for the team’s next game, an April 2 home game against Philadelphia at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. The MLS takes time off for international competition in late March.
Accam said he hurt the in a March 11 tie at Orlando City.
“I practiced a little early in the week and it got worse,” he said. “The best thing to do is rest it. I knew I was going to make the team and I was happy at first but now I’m injured.’’
Ghana will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Mozambique on March Thursday and March 27.
A native of Accra, Ghana, Accam made his senior debut against Senegal on Jan. 19, 2015 in the Black Stars' Africa Cup of Nations opener and has since earned five caps and scored one goal.
Heading into Friday’s slate of Major League Soccer games, Accam and 11 others led the league in goals with two each. Orlando City’s Cyle Larin scored a third goal Friday night in his team’s 1-0 victory over the New York City Football Club. He also led the team with 10 shots and was one of three players on the Fire with an assist.
Last year, Accam led the Fire with 10 goals.
The Fire is also hoping that midfielder John Goosens’ left hamstring injury isn’t serious. He said it didn’t feel right at the 30th minute of the first half against Columbus and was replaced by Michael Stephens in the second half.
“It was a hard and important call to tell the coach I was unable to play the second half,” Goosens said. “We will see Monday what’s going on with it. It’s nothing special but we have to be careful with it. It’s been a hard two weeks for me with travelling and a difficult game last week (against Orlando City). I think maybe my body was too tired but we have two weeks before the next game.
“I’ll be there.