Seattle Sounders FC acquired veteran Brazilian forward Heber from New York City FC on Thursday for at least $400,000 in general allocation money.
NYCFC can receive an additional $150,000 in GAM if certain performance metrics are met. Heber is under contract for 2023 with a club option for 2024.
Heber, 31, has 24 goals and six assists in 70 appearances (38 starts) for NYCFC over the past four seasons.
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“I’d like to welcome Heber to Seattle and look forward to seeing him in preseason camp,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said in a news release. “You always need players who can score and Heber has been a goal threat throughout his career. I can’t wait for him to start working with our coaches and his new teammates to add another strong piece to our forward group. “
Heber spent over nine seasons in overseas leagues before joining NYCFC in March 2019 on a permanent move from Croatian club NK Rijeka. He was an immediate force, scoring 15 regular season goals in his first MLS campaign.
Heber played in just 12 games in 2020 after tearing the ACL in his right knee on September 23, 2020 against Toronto FC. The recovery and rehabilitation process limited him to seven regular season games in 2021.
NYCFC won the 2021 MLS Cup, but Heber saw action in just one of four postseason games. He did not play in the title match against the Portland Timbers.
He scored eight goals in 29 appearances (nine starts) last season before the Philadelphia Union knocked NYCFC out of the playoffs in the semifinals.
Heber said he was sad to leave NYCFC, but eager for a new opportunity.
“I love this club and this city, I’ve felt completely at home since I arrived in 2019,” Heber said, via NYCFC. “Despite the ups and downs, I’ve really enjoyed my time here because of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a team. Being able to win trophies for the city of New York and its amazing fans is something I will always cherish.
“I want to thank my teammates, the medical team and everyone at the club for the support you gave me while I was coming back from injury. I couldn’t have done it without you and now I feel as fit and strong as ever. I’m excited about the new challenge in Seattle and I’m very happy to stay in MLS, which is a league I now love. I will always remember my time in New York and it will always have a very special place in my heart.”