Sounders FC’s home game Saturday against Toronto FC will hit closer to home for a couple Seattle players. Both goalkeeper Stefan Frei (2009-2013) and forward Chad Barrett (2008-10) played for the Reds in recent years.
They talked about their TFC experiences with reporters this week:
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(Will it be different playing against Toronto this weekend?) “No. I’m going to try to make it a normal game. I know pretty much every single guy on that team, but when that whistle blows, if it comes push to shove, I think I’m going to go through one of them if I have to. I have some good friends on that team, I know their qualities in and out, and I could even give my teammates some inside information there. … But like I said, when the referee blows that whistle, it’ll be game on.”
(Do you have any issues with how your departure came about?) “No. I try to give my best in whatever I do, and they did the same thing over there in Toronto. I had some unlucky situations with injuries and whatnot. (Joe Bendik) stepped in at the right moment and did fabulous for them. So all power to them. I just have to do what I can control, which is work hard, show up to practice and try to get better, and it’s worked out for me. I couldn’t ask to be in a better situation than I’m in now.”
(What do you recall from your time in Toronto?) “I have very fond memories of Toronto, very fond memories of the stadium, the fans, the players — not so much the coaches, because we had one every year. It was just different every year. Aron Winter came in and kicked everyone but four players out. Stefan knew three guys on the team from the year before. But the fans they treated me really well; the city treated me very well. It was one of the places where I actually regret not having more of an impact and not being able to do more and make the playoffs and give something back to that city. They definitely deserve something up there because they’ve been struggling for a while.”