The New York Red Bulls announced on Friday that they have signed two-time MLS Cup winning goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, hours after the all-time winningest goalkeeper in Major League Soccer history tweeted out that he'll be back in the game this season with the Red Bulls.
“We would like to welcome Kevin to the Red Bulls,” Red Bulls GMAndy Roxburgh said in a statement. “As one of MLS’ most successful goalkeepers of all time, Kevin brings a wealth of playing experience and the knowledge of what it takes to be successful at the highest level. That’s why we are delighted that Kevin will pass on that knowledge to our next generation of goalkeepers in the role of Goalkeeping Development Manager, while also giving us another quality goalkeeping option as part of our first team roster.”
Hartman has been without a club since FC Dallas decided against offering him a contract in November. No team picked up the 16-year veteran in the ensuing MLS Re-Entry drafts in December, and he has been a free agent ever since.
The Red Bulls return to action on Saturday (4:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live) when they visit the undefeated Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium.
Hartman is one of the most decorated players in MLS history. The only player in league history to play and start more than 400 regular-season matches in MLS, he joins the Red Bulls following three years in Dallas. Last year, Hartman recorded 30 starts and earned six shutouts, adding to his all-time shutout record which currently stands at 112. During his time in Frisco, he compiled 83 starts and helped FC Dallas reach the MLS Cup final in 2010.
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
The Red Bulls already have Luis Robles, Ryan Meara and Santiago Castaño on their books. The addition of Hartman gives the Red Bulls another starting option, but also raises questions as to where Meara stands in his road to recovery from the season-ending hip surgery he underwent last fall.
The 38-year-old Hartman started his career with the LA Galaxy in 1997 after being drafted in the 1997 College Draft from UCLA and went onto win MLS Cups with his side in 2002 and 2005. During this time, Hartman and the Galaxy also captured two Lamar Hunt US Open Cups in 2001 and 2005 and a pair of MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 1998 and 2002. Following a 1999 campaign which saw him make 32 starts, earning a 20-12 record and 11 shutouts, he won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award and was a part of the MLS Best XI.
The five-time MLS All-Star and five-time finalist for the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award also was a member of Kansas City from 2007-09, where he started every minute of each of the 90 regular-season matches during his tenure.
Overall, the 13-time MLS Cup Playoffs participant has amassed 416 regular-season appearances, 37,260 minutes played and a career 180-143-89 record. Though these matches, Hartman has posted a 1.21 goals against average and set the record for lowest single season GAA in 2010 with FC Dallas, recording a 0.62 mark. Hartman has earned five caps for the US national team.