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Union sign Kacper Przybylko to add to striker depth for playoffs

After scouting Kacper Pryzbylko for a few weeks in Chester, the Union decided they liked what they saw enough to offer him a contract.

Kacper Przybylko (center), a 6-foot-4 Polish striker, is on trial with the Philadelphia Union.
Kacper Przybylko (center), a 6-foot-4 Polish striker, is on trial with the Philadelphia Union.Read moreJonathan Tannenwald/Staff

After scouting striker Kacper Przybylko for a few weeks in Chester, the Union decided they liked what they saw enough to offer him a contract.

The signing was officially announced Sunday morning — two days after Major League Soccer's roster freeze deadline, but the deal was done and registered with the league in time. Przybylko's agent was in Chester this past Wednesday for contract talks.

Officially, the deal is for the rest of this year with a team option for 2019.

A Germany native with Polish ancestry, Przybylko has played for Polish youth national teams and a few German second-division clubs. The 25-year-old's most recent was FC Kaiserslautern, which he called home from 2015 until this summer. Kaiserslautern was relegated to Germany's third tier at the end of last season, and Przybylko became a free agent.

When he'll play for the Union — indeed, whether he'll play for the Union at all this year — remains an open question. So does whether it matters that he hasn't scored a goal in an official game since April 29 of last year.

The biggest reason for the drought is a foot injury that sidelined him for nearly 11 of the past 16-plus months. Union technical director Chris Albright acknowledged that in the team's announcement of the signing.

"He is a physical forward with a nose for goal, and we are encouraged with his progress in recovering from injury," Albright said. "We believe he bolsters our depth and we are looking forward to working his fitness up as we enter the stretch run of our season."

Jim Curtin has spoken highly of Przybylko a few times when asked by reporters, including last Wednesday.

"He's done well in training," Curtin said then. "A target No. 9 [striker] with soft feet, and he's fit into the group good in terms of off-the-field stuff."

And of course, there's the biggest question of all: can a player who has spent most of his career in Germany's lower leagues find the net in MLS? Being 6-foot-4 certainly helps. But even in his best season, two years ago, he only scored seven goals.

We might find out soon. With four games to come between now and Sept. 29, the Union will need just about everyone on their roster to play at some point.