David Accam

News and Notes from Chicago Fire's 2017 season-opener

For players, coaches and fans alike, it’s hard to match a season-opener in terms of anticipation, uncertainty and on-the-fly adjustments. While perhaps not quite as wild and crazy as last year’s Chicago Fire lid-lifter -- a 4-3 defeat to NYCFC -- Saturday's 2017 debut also had its share of noteworthy outcomes. Take a look at news and notes to come out of the 1-1 draw in Columbus:

  • David Accam delivered yet another bit of magic when the Fire needed it most, receiving a pass from John Goossens and shaking free of fellow Ghanaian and two-time World Cup veteran Jonathan Mensah, slotting a shot beyond the diving Zack Steffen in net. The 73rd-minute equalizer was Accam’s 25th goal in all competitions for the Fire, one behind Marco Pappa’s seventh-place standing on the club’s all-time goal-scoring list. It was also his 20th goal in MLS play, sending him past Jesse Marsch and Patrick Nyarko into sole possession of 10th place in club rankings.
  • Accam has now scored three goals in five career regular season games vs. Columbus Crew SC and five in six matches in all competitions.
  • Including U.S. Open Cup, Accam has scored 25 goals in 55 appearances with Chicago (0.51 goals/90 min.).
  • Four players made their Chicago Fire debuts on Saturday: midfielder Dax McCarty, goalkeeper Jorge Bava, forward Nemanja Nikolic and midfielder Drew Conner. Conner’s late appearance in stoppage time made him the seventh Fire Homegrown player to appear in a first team match, joining Victor Pineda, Harry Shipp, Chris Ritter, Collin Fernandez, Patrick Doody and Joey Calistri.
  • Six players -- David Accam, Arturo Alvarez, Michael Harrington, Johan Kappelhof, Joao Meira and Brandon Vincent -- appeared in the Chicago Fire opening day Starting XI for a second straight season.
  • The Fire were without the services of central midfielder Juninho, who served a one-match suspension stemming from a red card earned in his last match with previous side Club Tijuana (Mexico). John Goossens started in Juninho’s place and recorded an assist on Accam’s equalizer -- his fifth assist in MLS -- after receiving a pass in midfield from McCarty.
  • Forward Michael de Leeuw wore the captain's armband for the Men In Red. 
  • Chicago finished with a 12-10 edge in total shots for the game, with three on target compared to Crew SC’s four.
  • Playing its 600th all-time MLS regular season match, Chicago notched its first result in a season-opening game since a matching 1-1 road draw at Montreal on March 17, 2012.
  • Chicago and Columbus have now drawn three of their last four meetings and five of their last eight. The two teams will meet for their 60th all-time regular season matchup just a few weeks from now at Toyota Park (Saturday, April 8, 1 p.m. CT) with a return trip to Columbus set for Saturday, August 12.