Will Fire's Accam get his starting spot back this week?

Updated 8/1/2017 7:03 PM
  • Despite not starting the past two games, Chicago Fire's David Accam (11) is tied for third in the MSL with 12 goals. He also has 7 assists this season.

    Despite not starting the past two games, Chicago Fire's David Accam (11) is tied for third in the MSL with 12 goals. He also has 7 assists this season. Associated Press

In the midst of the Chicago Fire's best season in several years, a little discord seems to have sneaked through.

Left off the MLS all-star roster by Fire and all-star coach Veljko Paunovic, Fire forward David Accam also hasn't started the past two Fire games despite having the best season of his career.

Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez said the benching is not disciplinary action.

"No, I don't think so," Rodriguez said after the Fire trained Tuesday morning at UIC. "It is always a reflection of we play the guys that we think give us the best chance to win, and that is borne out in training on a weekly basis."

For his part, Accam tried to look ahead rather than back.

"We'll see what happens this week," he said of the possibility he might return to the lineup against New England at Toyota Park on Saturday (7:30 p.m., CSN Plus).

Accam scored as a second-half substitute in the past two games, a loss at New York City FC and a loss at Sporting Kansas City. He has 12 goals, which is tied for third in MLS, and 7 assists on the season.

"It's gone now," Accam said of being left of the roster for Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game (8 p.m., FS1 at Soldier Field) in favor of teammates Johan Kappelhof, Dax McCarty, Nemanja Nikolic and Bastian Schweinsteiger. "I'm now back with the Chicago Fire, I'm training with the team. Obviously, I'm a human. Everyone would be disappointed. That's what I say last weekend, so for now we just concentrate on Fire."

A report by Guillermo Rivera of The Athletic said Accam missed two recent practices after the all-star snub.

"I can confirm that that's false," Rodriguez said. "David did not miss any training sessions. I'm not sure where that comes from or why that's said."

Accam's contract includes a team option for 2018 that the team seems almost certain to pick up. That doesn't mean a transfer can't be arranged for the speedy 26-year-old from Ghana.

Accam is being paid a little over $820,000 this season, according to MLS Players Union figures. He has had contract extension talks with the team in the past, but Rodriguez said the team does not want to negotiate during the season because it's a distraction.

The Fire signed Accam in December 2014, and he has been one of the club's most successful designated players, with 31 goals and 14 assists in 67 games.

"It's not about me," Accam said. "It's about the team. We want the team to win, and everyone has to do the right thing. We want the team to get on the winning track again."

As for the Fire adding a player before the summer transfer window closes Aug. 9, Rodriguez said that "nothing appears imminent. We continue to have discussions, both within the league and outside. But I'd probably say all of them are 50-50. I don't know how they could turn."

The two-game losing streak doesn't add to the pressure to sign a player, he said.

"It's important that we rediscover our rhythm," Rodriguez said. "We were a pretty good team without adding anybody, and I still think we're a pretty good team. The season is a marathon. I think it's natural to have lulls."

• Twitter: @Orrin_Schwarz

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.