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Herbers, Fabinho and Ilsinho will return in 2018

The Philadelphia Union announced new deals with Fabian Herbers, Fabinho and Ilsinho on Wednesday

Fabian Herbers goes around Toronto defender Justin Morrow
Fabian Herbers goes around Toronto defender Justin Morrow
David Musante - Brotherly Game

Fabian Herbers, Ilsinho and Fabinho will be returning to the Philadelphia Union for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

“As we continue to build our 2018 roster, we are pleased to welcome back Fabinho, Fabian, and Ilsinho,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart in a news release. “Fabinho and Ilsinho provide excellent veteran quality, and Fabian is a young player with lots of potential. We did not want to lose any of them following last season, and we’re happy to reach agreements to have them return to Philadelphia.”

Details of the contract lengths and the salary figures were not released. The league typically releases salary information in April or May.

All three players were not initially retained when the club announced its initial offseason roster moves in November. Herbers and Ilsinho had their options declined and the club elected not to extend Fabinho’s deal.

This likely means all three players will be returning at a lower salary.

Herbers will no longer be Generation adidas eligible meaning his salary will no longer be outside the salary cap. The 24-year-old missed the better part of last season with a groin injury and had a recent training stint with German third division club FC Hansa Rostock. He was guaranteed $135,500 in 2017 under his GA deal, which is a mechanism the league uses to sign college players with eligibility remaining and making them available for the SuperDraft.

Ilsinho was the third highest paid player on the payroll for the Union last season with $518,333 in guaranteed compensation (Alejandro Bedoya and Maurice Edu were one and two) while Fabinho, who will turn 33 at the start of the season, was in the middle of the pack at $167,759.

Ilsinho, aka Ilson Jr., was reportedly offered a deal in the “225k to 250k range” to return.

The signings bring the Union roster to 23 for 2018, leaving room for seven more roster spots and an eighth should they elect to send an additional player on season-long loan to Bethlehem Steel FC.

While all three players hail from outside the U.S., only Ilson Jr. currently occupies an international roster spot. Andre Blake, Jack Elliott, Haris Medunjanin and Jay Simpson fill the other slots, leaving the club two currently remaining and a third they traded in August to Columbus that will return on December 31.