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Union trade Fabian Herbers to Chicago Fire

The third-year forward has been shipped in-conference for a SuperDraft selection.

MLS: Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Union have sent Fabian Herbers to Chicago Fire SC in exchange for a second-round SuperDraft selection. The Union declined Herbers’s contract option last month.

Herbers was the Union’s sixth-overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, which also saw Keegan Rosenberry and Josh Yaro join the side. He recorded four goals and nine assists in 53 appearances, 22 of which were starts. Most of those figures came in Herbers’s first season, when he recorded career highs in minutes (1290), goals (3), and assists (7).

The 25-year-old German’s sophomore season was plagued by injury. After ending his rookie campaign strong, he struggled to crack the starting lineup in 2017 before undergoing a sports hernia surgery in May of that year.

Herbers returned to the starting lineup at the beginning of this season, but that was short-lived: he failed to appear for the first team from April until late-July. He finished the season with no goals or assists in just 428 minutes. This time, injuries were seemingly not to blame.

With Herbers’s brief run of form now a distant memory, and the sporting director who drafted him long gone, a change of location for the young forward was seemingly inevitable.

Chicago Fire’s natural second-round selection, the 29th overall pick, now belongs to the Union.