The Union is finalizing a move to send Freese to New York City FC, where he would be able to compete for a starting role with the club.
Sources: NYCFC are finalizing the acquisition of goalkeeper Matt Freese from the Philadelphia Union.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) January 23, 2023
Freese, 24, is a Union homegrown but stuck behind Andre Blake, a three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, for minutes. Made 13 MLS regular season appearances over four seasons. pic.twitter.com/iIE8XR1TnY
Freese’s move comes after the Union drafted goalkeeper Holden Trent of High Point in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft in December. While Trent has yet to be listed on the Union’s roster, his addition would have given the team four goalies in the 2023 season.
Freese has been with the Union since he signed a homegrown contract in 2018. He joined the Union after he grew up in the team’s academy system and spent two years as the goalkeeper at Harvard.
In his time with Philadelphia, Freese was widely considered a talented player who had the misfortune of being stuck behind one of the league’s best keepers in Andre Blake. Since he was signed in 2018, Freese only played in 13 matches, allowing 15 goals.
Most notably, Freese started in the 2021 Eastern Conference Final against NYCFC after Blake was one of several Union players to test positive for COVID-19. The Union lost that match 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion.
Freese also spent time representing the United States at the youth level, playing three matches for the U-23 team. While he has never played a match for the senior team, Freese’s name has occasionally been mentioned in the group’s goalkeeper pool by fans and pundits.
Freese’s move to New York City comes as the club prepares to move on from longtime keeper Sean Johnson. Johnson’s contract expired with the club after the 2022 season, and he has been linked to a move to Toronto FC.
The news about Freese is the second transfer rumor of the day in Philadelphia, Bogert also linked the club to Joaquín Torres of CF Montreal earlier on Monday afternoon.