Adam Najem will play for former MetroStars goalkeeping coach Tim Mulqueen. (Photo courtesy of Memphis 901 FC)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC has added former Red Bull Under-23 midfielder Adam Najem to its USL Championship roster, Sporting Director Andrew Bell and head coach Tim Mulqueen announced Tuesday.
Najem spent the previous two seasons with the USL Championship’s Bethlehem Steel FC, on loan from its Major League Soccer affiliate, the Philadelphia Union. With Bethlehem in 2017 and 2018, Najem started all 38 matches he played and scored five goals, including three last season. 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.
The 24-year-old 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,” Bell said. “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 spending time with the Red Bulls Academy since age 11 — he played with the U-23 side in 2015 — Najem’s rights were sent to Philadelphia Feb. 8, 2017, in exchange for a second-round draft pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He then signed his first professional contract.
“Adam is a fantastic player with exceptional play-making abilities,” 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 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. He also was a second-team NSCAA All-American in 2015 and a Third-Team NSCAA All-American in 2016.
Najem’s brother, David, plays for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, which is Memphis 901 FC’s first opponent this season.