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Toronto acquires Freeman from Red Bulls (updated)


Toronto FC has acquired right back Hunter Freeman from the New York Red Bulls for two supplemental draft picks and other considerations, sources with knowledge of the deal told SBI on Friday morning.

Here are some more detals on the trade: It includes a clause that will force TFC to give the Red Bulls a 2011 second-round MLS SuperDraft pick if Freeman re-signs with Toronto FC at any point in 2009 (Freeman’s MLS contract is up on Dec. 31 and he is set to join Norwegian club IK Start on Jan. 1). If Freeman returns to MLS after 2009, his MLS rights would revert back to the Red Bulls, with no compensation being owed to Toronto.

Freeman leaves the Red Bulls after two seasons. He will join a Toronto squad desperate for some depth after recent World Cup qualifiers left the club’s roster bare. TFC had been in discussion with the Red Bulls about Freeman for several weeks.

Freeman is in the final year of his current MLS contract and has already signed a pre-contract with Norwegian club IK Start and will join Start in January.

Freeman has struggled mightly in 2008 for the Red Bulls. A former U.S. Under-23 defender known for his ability to get forward on the right flank, Freeman lost his starting job with the Red Bulls early in the season and eventually missed out on the U.S. Olympic team because of that lack of playing time. He is expected to provide cover at right back for Marvell Wynne, who could miss games later in the year with the U.S. national team.

Freeman started for the Red Bulls in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire. His departure means the Red Bulls will have to rely on veteran right back Chris Leitch and rookie Luke Sassano to play right back when the team uses a four-man defense.

The trade frees up a roster spot for the Red Bulls, who are still searching for forward help.

What do you think of Freeman going to Toronto FC? Should the Red Bulls have kept him? Can he help TFC?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think this is a good deal for both. NY is also getting better in making good deals… seems like Agoos is improving, which is good to see.

    Toronto just can’t deal with the situation they had last weekend again, so they had to get defensive cover.

  2. Looks like TFC is expecting Marvell Wynne to leave this winter.

    Posted by: Freddy | September 12, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    ??????? No. Read the article. Freeman is scheduled to leave this winter, but will provide cover for Wynne for the remainder of the year.

    This isn’t exactly a win-win for either side, it’s more of a not lose-not lose proposition. NYRB get a (very) little something for a player leaving anyway, and TFC get a (very) little service for something that was useless to them anyway.

    I do find it funny though that this is the third fullback Mo has pulled from NYRB, and that when Wynne was dealt to TFC, he was described by many NYRB fans on this blog as crap while Freeman was clearly the saviour. That worked out.

  3. Dunny is still around but is out for the season. We signed a bunch of CBs at the start of the season so he was benched to put Jimmy Brennan LB, hes still a favorite.

  4. a bandaid at a minor price, mo better get to work finding us other defenders (we have a spanish guy on trial right now that was u-19 nat). cant hurt, its a deal for both teams especially with such a thin squad.

  5. When you consider TFC’s domestic requirements, supplemental draft picks are next to useless for Toronto. So, essentially TFC gets some depth for free. New York gets something, but, really, did they?

  6. if we werent gonna play him we might as well get something for him. good move. cant believe they didnt do it sooner. its rather ironic that hunter freeman will bench warm for wynne who lost the right back job in NY at the beginning of last season to freeman.

  7. mike, good point, but still, the red bulls have added so much depth that losing freeman doesn’t affect the team that much.

    and i think the point was that leitch or sassano would need to be used if the red bulls played 4 in the back — i don’t see it…

  8. A year ago this would have bothered me. I like Freeman’s raw ability as well as his pace to get up and down the wing regardless of whether he’s playing midfield or defense.

    Problem is, he USED to be a good crosser of the ball, which is why he got the shot at midfield to begin with. But so far this year he has been by far the worst crosser on the team. To the point where he sends more sailing over the bar and into the stands than he sends into the box.

    Because of that and the personnel we have to replace him I don’t have a problem with this deal. And I can still say to Toronto FC fans they’re getting a useful player. Just don’t expect him to put any decent crosses into the box anytime soon.

  9. joe K –

    Freeman played right wing as well. So does Sassano. I think thats what Ives meant.

    It subtracts depth from the whole right side.


  10. they don’t need to use sassano back there.

    the current back four:

    jimenez–parke–cichero–(goldthwaite or leitch)

    and boyens is still available before sassano has to come to the backline.

    or has jimenez fallen out of favor since his mistake last week?

  11. Let’s see he wasn’t starting for NYRB and he is leaving at the end of the year and there are 7 games left in the season. I am thinking trading him probably wasn’t a bad idea.

  12. Only in MLS does this crazy stuff happen. I hope TFC isn’t as stupid as this appears and are getting Freeman’s right for 10 years from now when he comes back from Europe.

  13. I liked Freeman early on when he was traded to the Red Bulls. But injuries and lack of playing time (and playing badly when he got time)… not a terrible loss for the team. Especially since he’s going to Europe at the end of the year anyway….

  14. Two supplemental picks to get rid of a squad player with only 4 months left in the country? DEAL!

    TFC needed the defensive cover and have plenty of draft picks, so little skin off their nose too, I guess.

    Good deal all round.


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