The Union made just one move in Major League Soccer’s trading window on Sunday, dealing Fabian Herbers to the Chicago Fire for a second-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Herbers, 25, played 57 games for the Union after being drafted No. 6 overall in 2016. A native of Germany, he spent three years at Creighton and was the Big East’s 2015 offensive player of the year. MLS enticed him to leave college early with a Generation Adidas contract offer, meaning he’d make more than the usual rookie salary and be exempt from the cap.
But he didn’t end up having much of an impact. Thirty-three of his appearances came in his rookie season, and throughout his three years here he was mostly a substitute. He made 23 starts and recorded five goals and 10 assists.
This year, he played 10 games for the Union and 14 for Bethlehem Steel. He had five goals and four assists in Bethlehem, and no goals and one assist for the Union.
“We believe this trade is best for both Fabian as well as the Union at this time," Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a statement.
The Union had declined a team-side option in Herbers' contract for 2019 at the end of the season. But that deal runs through the end of the calendar year, so the Union were able to deal Herbers before then. Chicago picked up that contract in the trade and exercised the 2019 option. There’s also a club-side option for 2010.
Herbers had signed the contract after the 2017 season. The new deal ended his Generation Adidas status (and gave him a pay cut). We now know that contract was for one year with two one-year club-side options thereafter.
Chicago figured they’d take a chance on Herbers, and gave the Union a chance to get something for the player instead of nothing.
“With more playing time, we believe that Fabian could develop into a consistent scoring threat in this league,” Fire president and general manager Nelson Rodriguez said in a statement.
Next up for the Union is deciding which players they will make eligible for new MLS team FC Cincinnati’s expansion draft on Tuesday. Each MLS team can protect 11 players from its roster, plus Generation Adidas and homegrown players who are automatically protected.