MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC announced on Tuesday it had signed attacking midfielder Adam Najem to its inaugural USL Championship roster, pending league and federation approval.
Najem spent the previous two seasons on loan with the USL Championship’s Bethlehem Steel FC after signing with the Philadelphia Union prior to the 2017 season. Najem started all 38 matches he played for Steel FC and had five goals, with three coming a season ago. His passing success rate was above 80 percent in nearly 3,300 minutes played over his two previous seasons in the league. He also logged five matches with the Union during that time.
Najem received his first international call-up to join Afghanistan’s National Team in August 2018.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Adam Najem to Memphis,” said Memphis Director of Soccer Andrew Bell. “He is a quality player with lots of USL Championship and Major League Soccer experience. His technical ability and soccer IQ make him a good fit as we continue to prepare for our first match on March 9.”
After coming through the New York Red Bulls Academy since age 11, Najem’s rights were traded to Philadelphia on Feb. 8, 2017, in exchange for a second-round draft pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Najem was a star at the University of Akron from 2013-16. In four seasons, Najem totaled 89 appearances (87 starts), scoring 33 goals and adding 29 assists. He was named the 2016 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and was a four-time first-team All-MAC honoree. Additionally, the midfielder was a Second-Team NSCAA All-American in 2015 and a Third-Team NSCAA All-American in 2016.
In addition to his collegiate career, Najem also competed in USL League Two for the New York Red Bulls U23 and the Michigan Bucks. Following his season with the Bucks in 2016, Najem was rated as the No. 1 midfield prospect in League Two.
“Adam is a fantastic player with exceptional play-making abilities,” said 901 FC Head Coach Tim Mulqueen said. “His ability to unlock a defense with his passing is top class. I am thrilled that a player of his caliber will be joining us.”
Najem’s brother, David, plays for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who are Memphis 901 FC’s first opponent in the 2019 USL Championship season on March 9 at AutoZone Park.