Roddick, other players ready to revolt?

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Roddick, other players ready to revolt?

From Comcast SportsNet
SHANGHAI (AP) -- The top men's tennis players may still meet this week in Shanghai to discuss their grievances with the ATP tour, despite the absence of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Andy Roddick said Monday at the Shanghai Masters that he hopes other players are still "passionate" about the problems and are open to discussing options for resolving them. Roddick has been among the most vocal proponents for a collective response to the top players' complaints about the tour, most notably the length of the season and the number of tournaments players are required to enter. The issues came to a head during the rain-soaked U.S. Open, when Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roddick voiced concerns about the conditions of the courts and the condensed schedule that forced Nadal to play three matches in three days. "Obviously, you need the top players involved," Roddick said, adding that Djokovic and Federer are just "a phone call away." "I don't think we're storming offices, but I think the sentiment is still there," Roddick added. "I think it would be dumb of us to rush anything. If something like this does happen, we need to be smart about it and take our time and make sure that it's well thought-out and not be kind of reactionary. But, you know, there is a discussion going on." Roddick has floated the idea of forming a players' union similar to those in other major pro sports. And Murray said last month that a strike couldn't be ruled out if something isn't done to address the packed tournament calendar. "You have to have a voice in order to get it accomplished," Roddick said. "Whatever our individual interests are and what we want changed, nothing is going to happen unless we're on the same page." Murray has been one of the busiest players on tour this autumn, winning two straight tournaments before coming to Shanghai. Nadal is also playing for the second straight week after reaching the final at the Japan Open. Djokovic pulled out of Shanghai to recover from a back injury, while Federer is taking a six-week break to rest and recuperate after a busy summer. He flew to Australia days after losing in the semifinals of the U.S. Open to play two Davis Cup singles matches and a doubles match.

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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