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Fabian Herbers isn’t MLS level talent just yet

The Philadelphia Union's first round pick hasn’t quite hit that level just yet.

The Philadelphia Union's Fabian Herbers celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew SC.
The Philadelphia Union's Fabian Herbers celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew SC.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

Fabian Herbers hasn’t had a very fair first few months in MLS. Coming into a red hot Philadelphia Union team and having to start games to replace a resurgent CJ Sapong wasn’t exactly what everyone wanted for the young German, but here we are. The Union need to look elsewhere. Any other year and I would say the first team should look to get rid of Herbers, but this year there's an ace up the sleeve. Bethlehem Steel FC is the place for a guy like Fabian Herbers. He’s not MLS ready just yet - which is fine - and he now has a way to give him meaningful playing time at a professional level so he can learn the system. He’s not stuck with being a streaky young prospect anymore. I have never seen someone show a ton of promise (his first goal against FC Montreal for Bethlehem and his beauty against Columbus Crew SC) and then disappear the next week. Bethlehem already has a track record of getting guys minutes that they’ve used to make first team appearances. Matt Jones, Josh Yaro, Ken Tribbett, Walter Restrepo and John McCarthy have also been with BSFC and the Union, and Eric Ayuk and Seku Conneh have been noticed by their countries (Cameroon and Liberia) for international play.

Let’s be realistic though, there isn’t much of a choice right now. The transfer window is just around the corner and CJ Sapong’s injury hasn’t been given a definite timetable (don’t worry, this isn’t a Maurice Edu situation) so the former Creighton product is all Jim Curtin has at the moment. However as someone who follows both teams, Bethlehem Steel FC seems to be the much better fit for Herbers as soon as a healthy CJ Sapong resurfaces, and hopefully Earnie Stewart brings in someone else who is at an MLS level. Fabian has flashes of brilliance, and he made history as the first person to score for Bethlehem Steel FC, but I want him to consistently succeed for both the club and himself. He won’t be given the best chance of doing that if he stays with the first team all year.