With contract options for Michael de Leeuw, Yura Movsisyan and Luis Solignac declined for next season as part of the big annual Rosterpocalypse, the Chicago Fire needed some backup for the forward line. On Sunday, the Fire announced a deal with the Philadelphia Union to acquire 25-year-old Fabian Herbers in exchange for second-round pick for the upcoming 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
Herbers is contracted through the 2019 season with an option for 2020. He will not occupy an international slot for the team as he received his US Green Card last year.
Herbers bounced around various clubs during his youth career, most notably Dutch side FC Twente. The German native moved stateside for his college career in 2013 and played for Creighton University, where apparently the Fire had their eyes already locked on him.
In the official club announcement, Fire President and GM Nelson Rodriguez said Herbers had been on their radar for a while.
“Fabian is a player that we’ve followed since college [..] With more playing time, we believe that Fabian could develop into a consistent scoring threat in this league.”
Herbers scored 28 goals during his tenure with Creighton. From there, he signed a Generation Adidas contract with Major League Soccer and was eventually picked up by the Union during the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
Since 2016, Herbers made 54 appearances for Philadelphia (including one postseason game) and scored five goals. He also spent part of 2017 and 2018 out on loan with Bethlehem Steel, Philly’s USL affiliate. He made 23 appearances for BSFC, scoring eight times.
There are legitimate reasons for skepticism with this signing, notably his low goal stats and his recent history with injuries. But if he can remain healthy and develop his game, Herbers could make a real contribution to the squad.
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