The New York Cosmos continue to stock their team with MLS talent ahead of their return to competitive action in the North American Soccer League (NASL).
On Tuesday, they signed MLS veteran right back Hunter Freeman, who had been in discussions with the New England Revolution after the MLS club picked up his rights in December's Re-Entry Draft.
A Revolution spokesperson confirmed that the club had withdrawn its contract offer in the days leading up to his signing with the Cosmos.
“The chance to play in New York City was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Freeman said in a Cosmos club statement. “I am excited to be a part of this project and help deliver the Cosmos back to the top of American soccer.”
The 28-year-old Freeman is the latest MLS product to join the Cosmos, who are coached by former MetroStars legend Giovanni Savarese and his assistants, ex-MLS All-Star Carlos Llamosa and former MLS Cup MVP Alecko Eskandarian. Savarese has also signed former Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Kyle Reynish and former MLS defender Carlos Mendes.
In early January, Revolution GM Mike Burns had hoped to come to terms with Freeman, who saw the Colorado Rapids decline the option on his MLS contract in December. He was picked up in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft by the Revs, who were looking to negotiate a contract agreement.
But Burns confirmed at a Feb. 4 Revolution Supporters Summit that the contract offer was withdrawn given the additions of Jose Goncalves and No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Farrell. Freeman reacted to the deal falling through on Twitter:
For all you #Revs fans, I was looking forward to playing in your colors. Wish it could have worked out. I appreciate all of yalls support— Hunter Freeman (@huntfree) February 5, 2013
Freeman is a veteran of six MLS seasons on five different clubs, logging minutes in 126 matches. He makes his return to New York metropolitan area -— the Cosmos are slated to play in Hempstead on Long Island — after playing 30 matches for the Red Bulls from 2007-08.
Should Freeman return to MLS, the Revolution will hold the right of first refusal.
The Cosmos take part in their first competitive match during the NASL's Fall season against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Aug. 3.