New York City FC: With Heber out, club must sign striker

New York City FC, Heber #9 (Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)
New York City FC, Heber #9 (Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images) /

New York City FC must find a striker to replace Héber

In Wednesday night’s loss to Toronto FC, New York City FC forward Héber had to be stretchered off toward the end of the game.  At first look, the 29-year-old injured his right knee, and the pain was clearly evident in his face.  Since he could not walk off the pitch, the worst was assumed by fans and the media.

Unfortunately, NYCFC confirmed what fans did not want to hear: Héber will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.  He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, during the game, and according to the club, will ‘undergo surgery in the near future to repair the tear’.

Despite his goal troubles, this is a huge loss for the Pigeons.  The club’s 2019 scoring leader will now no longer have a chance to regain his form, and they lost an attacking presence upfront.  Though Valentín Castellanos can play the striker position, the Brazilian was the only natural striker on the roster.  Furthermore, Ronny Deila believes the team can rely on Castellanos upfront, but what happens if he is injured?  Plus, the head coach thinks this will be an opportunity for the Argentine to develop, but the 21-year-old has been struggling with scoring as well.

New York City FC need a new striker immediately

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Hence, the club must sign or trade for a natural striker.  They need help with scoring goals, for they cannot win on defense alone.  In addition, signing a goal scorer can boost the confidence of others in the attacking third.

While New York City FC could look at the academy level, they should look elsewhere.  They need an experienced player who can quickly adapt to a new team.

The Pigeons must also make a signing or trade in a timely manner.  Yes, the secondary transfer window is open until October 29, but there are only so many games left in the season.

With four points separating NYCFC from 6th to below the playoff line, they are in a rough position and need all the help they can get.

If the Pigeons were to look outside of the country, then they would have to sign someone now.  With COVID-19, any new signing would have to quarantine, and travel to the United States could be more difficult.  This could lead a few weeks to a month wait before that new player could play.  But if the club were to make a trade within MLS, then that player would probably be able to play without delay.  Of course, the question would be who is available and who will be an immediate difference-maker.

Therefore, for timing purposes, looking within the league would be ideal.  But there has to be a player that would easily slot into the team’s playing style and adjust quickly.  And more importantly, they have to offer scoring competence.  Is there a player like this available?

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Truthfully, it is unknown, and the Pigeons would more than likely make a trade for a backup player if they were to go this route. New York City FC is in a challenging and strenuous position, both in standings and lack of goals.  The club needs to find a striker before it is too late, and they fall below the playoff line.