The Seattle Sounders on Thursday announced the acquisition of Brazilian forward Héber from New York City FC. The 31-year-old joins the Rave Green after four seasons in MLS, all with NYCFC, in which he’s scored 24 goals in 70 appearances (38 starts).
Here are five things to know about the latest Sounders acquisition.
PROVEN MLS GOALSCORER
Héber scored 15 goals and chipped in four assists in his first MLS season in 2019, earning an MLS Newcomer of the Year nomination along the way. His 15 goals were tied for fifth in MLS, and he did so in just 1,575 minutes (0.86 G/90). A torn ACL forced him to miss most of the 2021 season, but he responded with eight goals in just over 1,000 minutes this past season and added another two goals in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Héber began his career at Figueirense, the club where Liverpool and Brazilian international forward Robert Firmino started, and brings some more Samba flair to the attack. He joins fellow Brazilians João Paulo and Léo Chú on the Sounders.
Prior to arriving stateside, Héber plied his trade in his native Brazil, Armenia and Croatia. He was the 2015-16 Golden Boot winner in the Armenian Premier League with 16 goals in 25 appearances for Alashkert. He then scored 35 goals in 68 appearances in the Croatian First Division for NK Slaven Koprivnica and Rijeka.
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While Peruvian Designated Player Raúl Ruidíaz will still be expected to spearhead the Sounders’ offense, Héber provides great depth as both a potential backup as well as strike partnership. Héber has done both in MLS, leading the line with great success as well as operating alongside former MLS Golden Boot winner Taty Castellanos.
Héber is capable of scoring in myriad ways and is excellent with either foot. He’s just as talented at finishing a one-timed ball at the back post as he is a creating his own shot as he is running into the channels between the center backs. His versatility should allow for more flexibility up front for Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, who now has a hybrid attacker between Ruidíaz and Jordan Morris.