Kai Herdling's time with the Philadelphia Union has come to an end two weeks before his short-term loan was set to expire, according to reporters at last night's loss to D.C. United at PPL Park.
Jonathan Tannenwald, of Philly.com's The Goalkeeper, and Charlie Flowe, host of the World Sports Show on 1460 AM, both tweeted last night that Herdling indicated he would leave the Union shortly.
"I saw Kai Herdling saying goodbye to members of the team in the locker room," Tannenwald tweeted, "telling them he was gone after this game."
Flowe was able to talk to Herdling, after the goodbyes, to get the German's statement on the situation.
"Yes, he [is] leaving for good, Kai Herdling and I spoke for a few seconds in the hall," Flowe tweeted last night.
Philadelphia chose to end Herdling's loan early, as June 30 was the extension deadline, with the option to elongate the loan to December 31 on the table.
Hoffenheim had sent Herdling on loan to the Union because the German club's reserve team captain was seeking a way out of the 4. Bundesliga (the fourth division in Germany).
"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 failed to make much of an impact, if at all, despite being given the opportunity to replace Roger Torres while the creative midfielder was unavailable due to an injury. Former Union head coach Peter Nowak made a point to focus discussion of the loan, when it was originally announced by the team, as Dave Zeitlin noted in a press conference write up for CSN Philly in April.
Nowak made note that Herdling is more of a replacement for Roger Torres than any one striker. Torres recently underwent surgery on his knee to repair damage to his MCL, keeping him out of the lineup for two months.
"Kai is a great guy, he speaks English so it shouldn't be a problem fitting in," Nowak said. "The competition is always good and with the loss of Roger Torres, with think it'll be a good fit for us."
The 27-year-old withdrawn striker played 212 minutes, starting three of his four appearances for the Union.
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.