Well, it didn’t take long for the Sounders to address the goalkeeper position.
The team announced Tuesday that it has traded a conditional first-round draft pick in 2015 to Toronto FC in exchange for Swiss goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Frei, 27, made $200,000 with the Reds last season. He started his first three years in MLS but hasn’t played much the past two, in part due to injuries.
“Stefan is a goalkeeper we have liked for a number of years,” said coach Sigi Schmid in a news release. “He is a quality professional who brings experience and leadership to the position. Adding Stefan at this point of his career was very attractive to us.”
Frei is the only goalkeeper locked up for the 2014 season after the Sounders declined the contract options on Michael Gspurning and Josh Ford. Marcus Hahnemann had indicated on Twitter a while back that he will return, but nothing official has been announced.
A Cal product, Frei was drafted No. 13 overall by Toronto FC in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and set the league’s rookie record with five shutouts that year. He was TFC’s longest tenured player and is the team’s leader with 99 games played in all competitions.
Here is Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko in a release: “Parting with a player of Stefan’s caliber and character is always difficult, but as we move forward with our re-shaping of the club, it is important that we have increased flexibility to make additional moves. This trade provides us with that flexibility. Stefan is a great player and an even better person who will always hold a special place in the club’s history. We wish him all the best as he moves on to the next stage of his career.”
What do you make of the move?
Thank you all for the kind words. I am very excited to start a new chapter in my career with @SoundersFC
— Stefan Frei (@Stefan24Frei) December 10, 2013