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David Accam finally scores for the blue and gold

After going 22 games in MLS play without a goal, the Union midfielder hit the back of the net on a penalty kick in the Open Cup on Tuesday

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Philadelphia Union vs Richmond Kickers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It took a penalty kick against a struggling USL team in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday to finally break David Accam’s long scoring slump.

The Union’s prized offseason acquisition was involved in the play that led to the PK in the 27th minute, feeding a ball into the box for Cory Burke, who was taken out by Richmond Kickers goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg. Burke had a case to get the penalty himself but yielded to the struggling veteran.

“It felt amazing,” Accam said after the game about seeing a ball hit the back of the net. “I wanted to score my first goal for the club.”

Accam’s goal doubled the Union’s lead and put the game seemingly out of reach inside a half hour for the visitors, who have already lost twice this season in USL play to the Bethlehem Steel by 4-1 and 3-1 score lines. Jack Elliott opened the scoring off a corner kick from Haris Medunjanin in the third minute of play.

“His work rate and his willingness to press even when plays would break up for him, he was right there to win it back,” Curtin said about Accam. “He did everything we asked of him, he created a lot of dangerous chances and it is good for him to hit the back of the net.”

The goal was Accam’s sixth in Open Cup play and 39th overall since coming to the U.S. to play for the Chicago Fire in 2015.

Accam wasn’t the only player to end a long scoring drought on Tuesday. Jay Simpson’s second half goal — about a minute and a half after coming into the game — was his first in an official game since March 2017 (he scored in the Swansea City friendly last summer and in preseason this year). He’s played only 39 minutes this season.

“I am trying to find more ways to get him opportunities, but Cory [Burke] is playing well also and that is a part of the nature of pro sports,” Curtin said. “Jay has handled it like a true professional and he put in a really good showing for us so I am happy for him.”