Earlier today, New York City FC announced the signing of goalkeeper Matt Freese from Philadelphia Union, who will get $200,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money and $150,000 in 2024 GAM. If Freese meets performance-based incentives the Union could receive as much as $400,000 more in GAM.
The homegrown signed with the Union in 2019 after playing for Harvard University, and has made 13 starts for the Senior Team in his career. But the 24-year-old has languished as a backup to three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winner Andre Blake, and didn’t make a single Single Team appearance in 2022.
The signing was made just a few hours after NYCFC announced that goalkeeper Sean Johnson had left the team to join Toronto FC. That sets up an intriguing battle between Freese and Luis Barraza, NYCFC’s number-two goalkeeper for the past two seasons: Even though Barraza is more familiar with NYCFC’s system of possession-based soccer that plays the ball out of the back, and is the presumed starter during this training camp, Freese seemingly made the jump to New York City to compete for the starting job.
Even though Freese didn’t feature for the Senior Team last year, he made 16 starts for Philadelphia Union II in MLS PRO Next, allowing 22 goals and registering 2 clean sheets. Transfermakrt values Freese at €200,000, and Barraza at €100,000.
Freese is 6’ 3”, and weighs 194 lbs. He was born in Wayne, PA, on the Philadelphia Main Line. We’ll note that when Freese crossed borders in one of the newest but most intense rivalries in MLS, he said all the right things:
Welcome to your new home, Matt.