It’s official: Héber is a now a piece in New York City FC’s machine. And the hype train is real... very real.
Throughout their first three games of the 2019 MLS season, NYCFC have had to improvise and make do while searching for the perfect candidate to come in and fill the unfillable (yes, that’s a word) shoes of David Villa. The results: three underwhelming draws in games that all could have potentially been wins, with only one of the four goals scored coming from a forward — namely new Designated Player Alexandru Mitrita.
Three points in three games — two of those being at home — might not look nightmarish on paper, but it surely is in the grand scheme of things. Especially when you don’t know where the lion’s share of the yearly goalscoring quota will be coming from.
Alas, NYCFC have announced someone who will be tasked with being the primary goalscorer for the remainder of the calendar year. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring to you: Héber Araujo dos Santos. But you can just call him Héber.
So, who is Héber and how can he effect NYCFC as they continue their quest for MLS silverware? Let’s dive into what we’ve heard about the Brazilian forward.
Here are two huge contributions City is hoping the Brazilian can bring to the Bronx
Scoring in bunches
One of the main components of a good striker/forward is... well, putting the ball into the net. And Héber has had little trouble doing that in his professional career.
For the 2016/17 European football season, Héber made his move to the Croatian First Division by joining Slaven Belupo. There. he scored 10 goals in 30 appearances, tying Mirko Ivanovski for the team-high that season.
Héber’s stint with Belapo wouldn’t last long, however, as he would move on to a different Croatian side, HNK Rijeka, in 2017. It was with Rijeka where the Brazilian would establish himself as a habitual, if not clinical goalscorer, netting an impressive 25 goals in 38 appearances over the course of about one season and a half.
To put those numbers into perspective, that is one goal every 1.52 appearances. On paper, that is better than what Villa averaged during his stay with NYCFC, in which he scored 80 goals in 124 appearances which adds up to a goal every 1.55 appearances.
No pressure, man.
So, Héber is versatile. How versatile? Well, just look at the Twitter thread from Kyle Schnitzer.
According to various outlets, Héber is capable of playing either wing as well as the No. 9 position. With Slaven Belupo, the Brazilian primarily featured as a CF. Upon his move to Rijeka, he played mostly as a LW with occasional starts both at striker and on the right wing.
This versatility could be paramount later in the season depending on how the club has evolved to that point.