Seattle Sounders complete signing of Heber from NYCFC

Heber will provide depth up-front for the Sounders.
Heber will provide depth up-front for the Sounders. / Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders have completed a move for Brazilian forward Heber from New York City FC.

Heber's transfer was completed on Thursday following emerging reports of Seattle's interest earlier in the week. NYCFC have received $400k in General Allocation Money (GAM) split between 2023 and 2024, with another $150k payable should certain performance targets be hit.

The Brazilian striker has signed a one-year contract through the 2023 MLS season with an option for 2024. He will provide much-needed depth and competition for Peruvian marksman Raul Ruidiaz.

“We are excited to bring in Héber and strengthen our team with a proven, veteran attacking player,” Sounders general manager and chief soccer officer Craig Waibel said in a club press release.

“Heber’s track record across multiple leagues speaks for itself, and he has been an impact player since coming to MLS. I’d like to welcome him to Seattle and look forward to watching him work with our existing squad once camp opens.”

Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer was equally as excited to bring Heber onto his roster.

“You always need players that can score, and Heber has been goal-dangerous throughout his entire career," Schmetzer said. ”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.”

Heber has enjoyed a solid goalscoring record since arriving in MLS with NYCFC, hitting the net 30 times in 90 appearances across all competitions, while providing seven assists.

The 31-year-old suffered an ACL tear in 2020 that kept him out for almost the entire calendar year, but recovered to help NYCFC win MLS Cup in 2021. Across the 2022 season, a fully-fit Heber managed 11 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions.

Prior to joining NYCFC, Heber had productive spells in Croatia, Armenia, and his native Brazil.

“Heber has been such an integral part of our club the past four seasons. Since the day he arrived, he’s brought a huge amount of joy to our training facility and has been a great person to work with,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in an official statement.

”Ultimately, as we headed into the offseason we needed to make moves in our roster to add resources which will allow us to reshape the squad for the seasons ahead.”

Heber is the latest key player to leave NYCFC in the last year, alongside the likes of Taty Castellanos, Anton Tinnerholm, and Maxi Moralez, as well as former head coach Ronny Deila.

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson and center-back Alexander Callens are both out of contract with the club actively searching for replacements, making it unlikely they'll return for 2023.

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