Sunday represented the first day of the MLS offseason and a half-day trade window for teams to begin the preparation for 2019.
The Chicago Fire took advantage with a trade for forward Fabian Herbers. The German comes to the Fire from the Philadelphia Union for a second round pick in the upcoming draft.
Herbers, 25, has a green card so he won’t take up an international spot on the Fire’s roster. He was a first round pick in 2016 and has scored four goals in three MLS seasons.
The Fire were in a need of a backup forward after Alan Gordon retired and the team declined Yura Movsisyan’s option.
Herbers had his option declined by the Union in November, but the press release for the trade said the Fire have him under contract for 2019 with an option for 2020. According to the MLS Players Union numbers, Herbers made just over $100,000 last season.
Thankful for the time in Philly with @PhilaUnion but thrilled to get this new opportunity with the @ChicagoFire. Can’t wait to get started and meet the fans! Let’s go Fire 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kZTJE55XT3
— Fabian Herbers (@fherbers9393) December 9, 2018
Herbers made a good impression as a rookie, playing in 32 games and making 13 starts as well as starting in the team’s only playoff game. He racked up three goals and seven assists, moving to a support role in the attack as opposed to being an outright striker. Since then he has seen his minutes decline significantly.
Herbers made 12 appearances and only four starts in 2017 with a goal and two assists. This season he made nine appearances and five starts and was unable to get on the scoresheet.
As the Fire’s roster currently stands, depth in the attack is definitely needed so it would appear that Herbers has a good chance to be a regular, even if off the bench.