The Atlanta Silverbacks have agreed to a deal that will send forward JAHBARI WILLIS to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in exchange for veteran forward ANDY HERRON, pending USSF approval.
Herron joined the Strikers last season, making 20 total appearances and scoring 8 goals. He led the North American Soccer League (NASL) in scoring before injuring his MCL in April, and took home NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors three times in 2012.
“I’ve known Andy Herron for a long time, and he has been a goal scorer at the highest level,” said Silverbacks Technical Director ERIC WYNALDA. “Our intention is to win the league, and we expect him to be a big part of that.”
The 35-year-old forward has represented Costa Rica at international level 25 times, scoring seven goals between 2004 and 2009. He appeared for the “Ticos” in both CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Before signing with the Strikers in 2012, Herron played in the top divisions in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the U.S. Perhaps what he is most known for is his pair of stints with Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, where he made over 60 league appearances and scored 15 goals. In 2006, Herron led the Fire in goals scored with 12 in all competitions, and played an integral role in the club’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title that year.
Herron also spent time with MLS side Columbus Crew in 2007, scoring four goals in 18 appearances. Since joining the Strikers, Herron has played against the Silverbacks several times, most recently in the 2013 season opener – a 2-0 Silverbacks win in Atlanta.
Willis, a former standout at Miami area school Florida International University, started his young career as a member of the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves (NPSL). After impressing at the reserve level, Willis signed with the first team midway through the 2012 season. The 6-foot-3 forward made a total of 11 appearances for the Silverbacks, adding a pair of assists.
“We want to thank Jahbari for his contribution to the club, and we wish him the absolute best moving forward,” Wynalda said.
Ironically enough, the Silverbacks and Strikers meet this Saturday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., and the game can be seen live online at ustream.tv/ftlauderdalestrikers.