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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Freedom Frei - Reds deal stalwart goalkeeper to Seattle Sounders

He looked like this a lot

It's hard to be a "long-term" TFC player. At a club where the only constant is change, Stefan Frei's 99 appearances in all competitions for TFC is far from ordinary. Yet still, despite the inevitability of today's deal, he is yet another Red leaving under the cloud of "it should have ended differently".

Toronto FC made the prompt yet unsurprising announcement this afternoon that Frei's rights have indeed been dealt to Seattle Sounders in exchange for a conditional 2015 first-round MLS SuperDraft pick. Frei is now eligible to work out a deal with the Cascadia giant. No, not Bigfoot.

Frei's time in Toronto will always be looked back at with difficulty. Through no fault of his own he stewarded the goal behind a succession of very poor teams and did yeoman's work of the job. Simultaneously, he also seemed to suffer from a voodoo-like curse of bad injury luck which saw his time in goal halted. The latest, a boot to the face in pre-season saw him benched just long enough for Joe Bendik to come in and do a solid enough job to steal the # 1 role.

With Bendik's emergence as a solid-enough MLS'er and Stefan Frei's higher wage, the choice was made by Ryan Nelsen & Co. to proceed with a future that didn't include the Swiss keeper. Acquiring Chris Konopka as the heir apparent # 2 sealed the deal.

His final year in Toronto will not be one filled with great memories but Stefan Frei will be very fondly remembered as a straight-up good egg at TFC and one of the few faces supporters were familiar with. He will most likely return in good form wearing the neon hues of Sounders but will always be Red to many here. It should have ended differently.


  1. he got married, bought a house/condo? got some cute dogs and got a trade to an actually decent team.

    Not great memories? best year of his life I'd say.

    1. Man, new sabbatical fact-checking Duncan is a hard-ass!

      It's a fair point though - perhaps today is the cherry-on-top. If playing in front of 50,000 people for a club with big ambitions is your kinda thing.