The Sounders Tuesday acquired goalkeeper Stefan Frei from Toronto FC in exchange for a 2015 conditional first-round SuperDraft pick. The deal comes a day after the Sounders parted ways with former keeper Michael Gspurning, who lost his starting job for a couple of games as Seattle lost nine of its final 10 matches.
Frei, 27, was Toronto’s longest-tenured player and is the club’s all-time leader in appearances across all competitions (99), winning four Canadian championships. He holds a 1.54 goals against average in 82 regular-season starts, but missed much of the past two seasons due to injury.
“Stefan is a goalkeeper we have liked for a number of years,” said coach Sigi Schmid in a club release. “He is a quality professional who brings experience and leadership to the position. Adding Stefan at this point of his career was very attractive to us.”
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Frei, a native of Switzerland, made 81 appearances in his first three seasons with Toronto before breaking a fibula in 2012, an injury that reduced him to just one league appearance in the past two years. He has 19 career shutouts, made 314 saves on 452 shots, and has gone 35-25-19 as a starter. Frei posted two shutouts in five matches against the Sounders, allowing seven goals while making 20 saves.
Due to the injury, Frei’s last full season was 2011 when he started 27 matches and allowed 49 goals.
Frei was selected by Toronto FC in the first round (13th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He played three seasons for the University of California, where he was named All-Pac-10 First Team, Top Drawer Soccer First Team, NSCAA First Team Far West All-Region and was on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch list (2008).