Seattle Sounders acquire rights to goalkeeper Stefan Frei from Toronto FC
One day after parting ways with goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, the Seattle Sounders are hopeful they’ve made a move to find their newest man in net.
The Sounders announced Tuesday that they have swapped a conditional 2015 first-round MLS SuperDraft pick for the rights to goalkeeper Stefan Frei, Toronto FC's all-time leader in matches played.
"Stefan is a goalkeeper we have liked for a number of years," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said in a statement. "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, 27, started at least 26 games each of his first three seasons in Toronto from 2009-11, but sustained a broken leg during the 2012 preseason and lost his grip on the starting spot. He has appeared in just one league match over the past two seasons.
“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," TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement.
"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.”
Frei posted a record of 20-35-25 in Toronto in MLS play, with 19 shutouts. He was also a member of the club’s four consecutive Canadian Championship wins (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
The Sounders declined the option on Gspurning on Monday after he started all 49 regular-season games over the past two years, as well as all six playoff appearances.