After several weeks of searching, the Seattle Sounders finally boosted their attack with some veteran experience. As per soundersfc.com, on Thursday the Rave Green completed a trade with New York City FC for forward Heber.
As part of the trade, NYCFC acquired $200,000 of General Allocation Money (GAM) for both 2023 and 2024. There is the potential for a further $150,000 in GAM, which will be determined by Heber meeting certain performance-based targets.
The move by the Sounders is a smart one, immediately improving their goalscoring threat but without a long-term commitment, which is important given Heber's recent injury issues. He is under contract for next year, with a club option for 2024.
The question is, who is Heber and what does he bring to Seattle? Here are seven things to know about the Sounders' newest addition.
The Seattle Sounders traded for Heber from NYCFC
1) Per Ryan Krasnoo of soundersfc.com, Heber has a proven pedigree as a goalscorer. He led the the Armenian Premier League with 16 goals during the 2015-16 season, while scoring 35 times in a combined 68 appearances for Slaven Belupo and Rijeka in Croatia's top division.
2) The 31-year-old began his professional career at home in Brazil, playing for four different clubs between 2010-15. During this time, he scored a combined 29 goals.
3) Heber move to North America in 2019, signing for New York City FC and making an immediate impact in MLS. He tied for fifth in the league with 15 regular season goals, to help NYCFC finish top of the Eastern Conference.
4) Overall, the Colorado do Oeste, Brazil native had 18 goals -- as well as four assists -- in all competitions during 2019. Unfortunately for him and NYCFC he struggled to repeat this form the following year, before suffering an ACL injury which cost him 12 months.
Threat off the bench
5) In Heber's first full season back from injury last year, he scored eight regular season goals and 11 overall in all competitions. The majority of his appearances came off the bench, which alludes to what he can expect in 2023.
6) The forward is renowned as a natural goalscorer, who does his best work inside in the 18-yard box. He should provide invaluable depth for the Sounders, with the ability to come off the bench and contribute timely goals.
7) Head coach Brian Schmetzer is suitably intrigued about the addition of Heber. Per the Sounders' communications department, Schmetzer said:
"I’d like to welcome Heber to Seattle and look forward to seeing him in preseason camp. You always need players that can score, and Heber has been goal-dangerous throughout his entire career. I can’t wait for him to get to work with our coaches and his new teammates to add another strong piece to our attacking group."
What is your opinion of the trade for Heber? What kind of of success do you predict he will have with the Seattle Sounders? Let us know in the comments section below.