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FC Dallas-Union Preview
It's safe to say David Accam has returned to form for the Philadelphia Union.
The Ghanaian forward looks to continue his excellent play as the Union go for a third straight win Saturday night against a young FC Dallas side that visits Talen Energy Stadium also seeking a third victory in a row.
Philadelphia acquired Accam from Chicago in exchange for $1.2 million in allocation money in January 2018 after he totaled 33 goals in his first three MLS seasons with the Fire, including a career-best 14 in 2017. However, Accam scored just once in 23 games last year before undergoing sports hernia surgery in October.
The Union got off to a poor start this season as they were outscored 6-2 while opening 0-2-1, but Accam has sparked them to back-to-back victories by being in on all five Philadelphia goals over those two matches.
Accam had two goals and an assist in a 3-0 win over the visiting Crew on March 23 and was named MLS Player of the Week for his performance, which came days after his father died from cancer. Last week in a road matchup with expansion club FC Cincinnati, Accam assisted on Marco Fabian's second goal of the season in the 47th minute and then scored 11 minutes later to lead Philadelphia (2-2-1) to a 2-0 victory.
"I feel much better now, my fitness, it's not there yet but it's almost there," Accam said. "I have a good feeling about myself and I think it's just about me trying to get fitter and fitter and playing more games."
After consecutive clean sheets, Philadelphia now faces a Dallas team that has totaled six goals in back-to-back victories to move to 3-1-1 on the season. Paxton Pomykal scored his first two MLS goals, Jesus Ferreira had a goal and two assists and Michael Barrios added two assists in a 4-2 road win over Real Salt Lake last week.
Pomykal and Ferreira are among a handful of homegrown players that were previously coached by Luchi Gonzalez, who took over Dallas after Oscar Pareja and the club reached a mutual agreement to part ways during the offseason. Gonzalez joined Dallas' academy in 2012 as the under-18 coach, became academy director in 2015 and then coached the under-16 team for the past four years.
"Whether home or away we want to compete and play with our idea, our style and try to win," Gonzalez said. "If that leads to a loss or a draw or the win, it's going to be us doing it in a way that we're pushing the game and we're trying to play our way."
These teams have met 11 times in MLS play since the Union joined the league in 2010, with Dallas holding a 6-1-4 advantage. Philadelphia did eliminate FC Dallas on penalties in the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Open Cup.
"We have a very good Dallas team that will be coming in confident after a big road win themselves," said Philadelphia's Jim Curtin, who was named MLS Coach of the Week on Monday. "Two good teams that like to get the ball on the ground and play. Some really good young players on display."
Updated April 5, 2019