Toronto FC trades for Hunter Freeman
Toronto FC acquired American defender Hunter Freeman until the end of the current Major League Soccer season as part of a trade with the New York Red Bulls on Friday.
In return, the Canadian club gave up two picks in the 2009 Major League Soccer supplemental draft.
Freeman, 23, is in the final year of his current deal and has already signed a pre-contract with IK Start and will join the Norwegian club in January.
Part of the trade agreement with the Red Bulls stipulates that Toronto must give New York a second-round pick in the 2011 MLS draft if Freeman re-signs with the Canadian team at any point in 2009.
If Freeman returns to the league after 2009, New York would retain his MLS rights and would not receive compensation from Toronto.
"We're very happy to have him join us," said Toronto general manager Mo Johnston. "He's a talented and versatile player that can play in numerous positions. We are aware that his plan is to play in Europe next season but he will provide great cover for us as we push toward the playoffs."
Freeman leaves New York after spending the past two seasons with the Red Bulls and is set to join a Toronto team in desperate need of defensive depth.
Now that he's with Toronto, Freeman is expected to serve as a backup for right fullback Marvell Wynne.
A former member of the United States' under-23 team, Freeman lost his starting job with the Red Bulls early in the season and didn't make the cut for the U.S. Olympic team that competed at the Beijing Games.
Freeman was selected seventh overall in the 2005 MLS draft by the Colorado Rapids. He went on to appear in 47 matches during his two years with the club before being traded to New York in 2007.