Najem Rights Traded to Union for 2018 Draft Pick

Adam Najem

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bulls prospect Adam Najem has finally landed with the Philadelphia Union. New York traded his rights for a 2018 draft pick. Philadelphia went ahead and signed him there after.

Najem had been linked with a move to Philadelphia after the Red Bulls couldn’t come to terms on a homegrown player contract. It was reported back in January that the Red Bulls would be trading Najem’s rights after the player turned down a minimum rookie contract offer. Najem felt his value was much higher and insisted on holding out for a better contract.

Now, Philadelphia has swooped in and signed the player. Najem will more than likely make an immediate impact with the Union who have holes in the midfield after some key departures towards the end of 2016.

What New York gets in return is a 2018 MLS SuperDraft pick — in effect, a highly touted prospect for a potential play in the future. Which number the pick actually is remains a mystery. Still, we have seen draft picks used as bargaining chips in player trades and allocation money grabs, giving the Red Bulls some leverage should the pick be a decent one.

While New York isn’t hurting for homegrown talent, the departure of Najem is noteworthy. The 21-year old was a top collegiate player and made waves at Akron. Many saw him as a positive signing for the Red Bulls after both DC United and Real Salt Lake secured their prospects to higher-end deals. New York didn’t see Najem in that way and now he will be a part of the Philadelphia Union organization moving forward.