Kai Herdling (center) training with the Philadelphia Union first team (Sheanon Williams, left, and Chris Albright, right) before the reserves defeated the New England Revolution reserves 4-2 (photo courtesy of @barbcvphilly).
After five games, an anemic offense has provided the Philadelphia Union with only three goals and one of them was a penalty in Saturday's win over the Columbus Crew. Currently sitting in eighth place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference, Union head coach Peter Nowak and the team's front office has apparently reached out to a friendly European team and acquired some help at forward.
Hoffenheim have stated that striker Kai Herdling, 27, will come to Philadelphia on loan until June 30. The loan deal can be extended, as it has an option to elongate the temporary transfer to December 31.
"It's a big loss for us. He has a leader personality that will be missed dearly," Hoffenheim II coach Frank Kramer said on Hoffenheim's official website. "But we also respect his decision and his desire to gather new experiences and we certainly wont block his path with a chance like this having come up for him."
Herdling has scored nine goals in 24 games for Hoffenheim II, the 'B' team of Hoffenheim.
The long time Hoffenheim forward had split his time between the Bundesliga side's first team and second team between 2002-2008, but left for fourth division side Sportverein Waldhof Mannheim in 2008-2009. Herdling returned to Hoffenheim and has since only played one game in the Bundesliga, but was named the captain of Hoffenheim II, which has featured up-and-coming American forward Joe Gyau in recent years.
He had 68 goals in 101 games for Hoffenheim II and seven goals in 57 games for Hoffenheim. His contract is set to run until 2015, but Goal.com has claimed Herdling's move is for "the spirit of adventure."
The Union already have five strikers on roster, including four that are under the age of 22. However, former first overall SuperDraft pick Danny Mwanga, United States youth international Jack McInerney, Costa Rican international Josue Martinez and Generation Adidas member Chandler Hoffman have either barely seen the field or have been unable to make an impact while on it.
Only Colombian Lionard Pajoy has made the field on a regular basis and in the Union's 1-0 win on Saturday he played as a lone striker for the first time this year. Pajoy has struggled to find the net himself, scoring only once so far this season.