After being out of work for nine months, Canadian goalkeeper Greg Sutton has landed back on his feet in Major League Soccer.
The New York Red Bulls announced Thursday that they have signed Sutton. Financial details and the length of the contract were not disclosed by the club.
Sutton, a 32-year old native of Hamilton, has not been employed since being released by Toronto FC last June. He recently went on trial with New York and impressed club officials enough with his performances in some pre-season games to earn a contract.
The Red Bulls waived Danny Cepero in February, so Sutton is expected to battle Bouna Coundoul for the No. 1 goalkeeper position in New York.
"He is a very experienced goalkeeper and will compete for a starting role," Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler said in a statement.
Sutton joined Toronto FC prior to the 2007 season, the club's first in MLS, and served as the team's No. 1 goalkeeper before being supplanted by rookie Stefan Frei at the beginning of the 2009 campaign.
Toronto FC selected Frei, a product of the University of California at Berkeley, with the 13th pick in the first round of the 2009 MLS draft. The Swiss-born rookie impressed the Toronto coaching staff in training camp, so much so that he won the starting goalkeeper's job.
Sutton served as Frei’s backup before being released by the club.
A popular player with teammates and a fan favourite, Sutton made 34 appearances (33 as a starter) and recorded seven shutouts during his time in Toronto.
Shows no bitterness
Although disappointed, Sutton wasn't sour about being cut.
"I could be bitter about it, but I don't think that's going to do any good for me," Sutton told CBCSports.ca at the time. "I'm not the kind of guy who's going to go and say things that are going to cause controversy. I'm not going to stoop to that level."
Sutton kept himself busy during his time away from MLS.
The tall, lanky shot stopper was involved in several youth soccer camps around Ontario, and also found himself back between the posts last July, helping the Canadian national team reach the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The veteran goalkeeper will be surrounded by a few familiar faces in the New York locker-room. Defenders Andy Boyens and Kevin Goldthwaite are former Toronto FC players who are now with the Red Bulls.
New York also recently acquired midfielder Carl Robinson in a trade with Toronto.
New York opens the 2010 MLS regular season on March 27 when it hosts the Chicago Fire.