The Philadelphia Union seek to build off a successful 2016, and add another piece in their offseason quest to do so.
The team announced the signing of midfielder Adam Najem on Wednesday, following the acquisition of the right of first refusal from the New York Red Bulls. The Union parted with their 2018 natural 2nd round Draft pick to complete the trade, allowing them to officially sign the 22-year-old former Akron midfielder.
In his time with the Zips, Najem compiled 89 appearances over four years, scoring 33 goals and notching 29 assists, earning himself the 2016 MAC player of the year honors as well as four first-team all-conference appearances.
“We are excited to acquire the rights to Adam and sign him as a member of Philadelphia Union,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. “He is a player that has shown his abilities throughout his collegiate career and continued that this preseason. Adam is a player that provides depth for us and we are thrilled to see what he will bring to our club.”
Last week, Union head coach Jim Curtin said Najem had been impressive in camp while comparing his potential to that of several of MLS’ top playmakers.
“(Najem)’s been excellent in training,” Curtin said. “He gets goals and assists, which I already knew about. In the short time with us, he’s shown he can do at the MLS level.”
“You think of a Mauro Diaz-Benny Feilhaber combo,” Curtin added. “If you can think of the attributes of those guys with a similar size to a Diaz. For a young kid. I’m not calling him the next Mauro Diaz, but he’s done very well. That would be a comparison of the skill set that I see.”