The New York Cosmos have certainly used the City to their advantage.
Whether it’s using the appeal of living and playing in the World’s capitol to lure in players like Kyle Reynish and Ayoze, or offering the opportunity to get a little closer to home like Carlos Mendes and Stefan Dimitrov went after, the Big Apple has played every bit the negotiator as anyone in the Cosmos organization has.
Score another one for the Empire State.
The New York Cosmos announced the signing of former New York Red Bull fullback Hunter Freeman late Tuesday afternoon.
“The chance to play in New York City with a team that has such a rich tradition made the decision easy for me,” said Freeman. “I am excited to be a part of this club and help the Cosmos back to the top of American soccer.”
“I welcome Hunter Freeman to the club,” said Cosmos coach Gio Savarese. “He is a versatile and experienced defender who I am confident will do very well in the NASL. His attacking ability from the right-back position makes him a perfect fit for the Cosmos.”
Freeman, 28, is a natural right back who has started for various clubs throughout his career. Just last season, he manned the flank for the Colorado Rapids to the tune of 18 starts. The year prior, he started for the Houston Dynamo through 23 of the team’s matches.
Most locals, however, will remember him from his time with the New York Red Bulls where he became a vital part of the team’s backline. Injuries would slow his progress and eventually cost him his starting spot. After being traded away to Toronto FC, Freeman found a home and thrived overseas with IK Start of the Norwegian Tippeligaen where he made 51 appearances and scored 2 goals from ’09 -’10.
Recently, the New England Revolution took a flier on him in the MLS Supplemental Draft. Salary and an abundance of cheaper options made his signing a difficult one for the Revs. Commanding a hefty $110,792.50 a year salary and coming off of a difficult season with one of the most porous defenses in the league, Freeman became expendable and was left without a team.
That is, until the Cosmos offered him the chance to return to the city he loved.
Freeman rounds out the first five players signed to the Cosmos of this modern era along with former Red Bulls teammate Carlos Mendes, former Real Salt Lake keeper Kyle Reynish, former Chicago Fire striker Stefan Dimitrov and former Sporting Gijon midfielder Ayoze.