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?
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