U.S. Men's National Team

Stefan Frei receives U.S. citizenship

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports

There are still some hurdles to clear before he ever represents the U.S. Men’s National Team, but Stefan Frei took a big step on Tuesday by becoming an American citizen.

Frei tweeted on Tuesday that he has officially passed his U.S. citizenship test. The Seattle Sounders goalkeeper, who moved to California as a teen, previously represented Switzerland at the youth level. Frei is still awaiting approval for a switch to represent the USMNT.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper, whose heroic save led the Sounders to the 2016 MLS Cup, joined the USMNT for January camp despite not being eligible to officially play. He departed camp early due to an ankle sprain.

Frei has started all 15 of the Sounders’ matches this season, logging five shutouts.

  • MLSsnob

    Congrats! But Frei is not heads better than any of the GK’s in the pipeline. IMO Horvath, Bendik are above him in the pecking order. Not to mention Guzan who is only a year older than him.


    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      He is pretty darn good, but I agree there are others that are too. I don’t think he is below the guys that you mentioned, but if you were right, I wouldn’t be blown away.


  • SD

    Can he still represent USA? If he played for Swiss youth teams and was not a US citizen at that time then he is cap-tied to Swiss. This was a similar situation to Fagundez/Uruguay and participating in U20 WC. Am I missing something? Can someone clarify?


    • SilverRey

      After playing for youth teams he needs to file a ‘one-time switch’ to become eligible for the US on the senior level (making him no longer eligible for other countries regardless of whether gets a cap or not).


  • SD

    @silver rey…please re-read my comment. In order for him to apply for the switch, he had to have us citizenship at the time he played for Swiss youth teams.

    This one-time switch rule started because morroccan and algerian dual national youth that were born in france and played once or twice for france were kept from playing for morocco or algeria, etc.Since they had citizenship already for morocco or algeria in addition to france, the one-switch rule made sense and fifa approved the rule.

    In Frei’s case, he already played for Swiss youth teams and had no other citizenship status making him ineligble for the US. Now unless there is some sort of exception for green card holders or something else, then Frei cannot play for the US

    Can anyone clarify?


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