New York City Football Club announced Thursday that it has traded forward Heber to the Seattle Sounders in exchange for up to $550K in General Allocation Money.
The Major League Soccer club will receive a guaranteed amount of $400,000, with $200,000 in 2023 GAM and $200,000 in 2024 GAM, and an additional $150,000 if certain performance-based incentives are met.
The Brazilian does not occupy an international roster slot and is under contract for the 2023 season with a club option for 2024.
“We are excited to bring in Heber and strengthen our team with a proven, veteran attacking player,” Sounders general manager and Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel said in a statement. “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.”
Since joining in 2019 from Croatian side HNK Rijeka, the Brazilian striker has played 90 games for NYCFC, recording 4,423 minutes across various competitions scoring 30 goals and recording seven assists.
Heber was an instant sensation, scoring 15 goals in his first season, winning NYCFC newcomer of the year and goal of the year for 2019. Heber missed part of the the 2020 and 2021 seasons with a ruptured cruciate ligament injury.
“Heber has been such an integral part of our club the past four seasons,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “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. 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 made an immediate impact on the pitch after he joined the Club and became a focal point of our team in 2019, which helped us to finish in first place in the Eastern Conference that season, and he showed incredible determination to recover from his ACL injury across 2020 and 2021. He has also been such an important player in our locker room with his infectious and competitive personality across the last four seasons. Heber will always be remembered by everyone at the Club for his goals and many great moments, we would like to thank him for all he has done and wish him all the very best in Seattle.”
In a statement of his own, Heber said goodbye to NYCFC.
“I love this club and this city, since I arrived in 2019, I’ve felt completely at home,” he said. “Despite the ups and downs, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here for what we have been able to accomplish as a team. Being able to win trophies for New York City and its amazing fans is something I will always treasure.
“I would like to thank my teammates, the medical team and everyone at the Club for all the support you gave me while I was returning from injury. I couldn’t have done it without you and I now feel as fit and strong as ever. I am excited by the new challenge in Seattle and am very happy to be staying in MLS which is a league I now love. I will always remember my time in New York very fondly and it will always have a very special place in my heart.”