The Mexican international comes over from Eintracht Frankfurt in the biggest acquisition in Union history.
All off-season, the question lingered of who was going to replace the departed Borek Dockal in the midfield, and now, we have our answer. Fabian is a 29-year-old attacking midfielder of international quality, having capped fourty-two times for Mexico and having played for El Tri last year in the World Cup. Union sporting director Ernst Tanner referred to him as “the missing piece” in a subsequent conference call today.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Tanner confirmed that Fabian would be paid more than any Union player in history. The contract is for 2019, with club options in 2020 and 2021. There was no transfer fee involved, and Ernst intimated that the Union’s good relationship with Eintracht Frankfurt was instrumental in the landing of the player.
Someone of Marco’s pedigree makes everyone around him better, and it’ll be up to Union manager Jim Curtin to get the most out of him, especially after Tanner freed Curtin up to use whatever formation he wished, a stark contrast from being stuck in the 4-2-3-1 under Earnie Stewart. How Fabian meshes into the attack and which pieces Curtin puts with him will go a long way into deciding how far the Union go this year, and maybe even if Curtin stays here past the 2019 season.
However, as with everything with the Union, there’s a catch. Marco suffered a rather serious back injury in 2017 and fell out of favor with his club in the Bundesliga, even as he recovered and made the Mexican team for the World Cup last year. However, Tanner appears comfortable with the possible risk of a re-injury for the reward that could come with a signing of Fabian’s caliber.
For the moment, the Union have the kind of talented presence in their midfield that bodes well for next year and may put them back in the playoffs. Credit goes to Tanner for finding him and bringing him in, and understanding that it’s not enough to just play the kids and give a shrug if your team turns out mediocre, as the Union have so many years before this. We’ll be watching to see how this turns out, and now, we have something to better to watch.