clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Player Preview: Matt Freese

After spending four years as the backup to Philadelphia Union star goalkeeper Andre Blake, the 24-year-old made the move to NYCFC to seek more playing time — and compete for the starting role

MLS: Philadelphia Union at FC Cincinnati
Time, time.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Freese

Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 24
2022 MLS NEXT PRO Season: 16 starts
Key Stats: 21 GA, 87 saves, and a good-not-great 1.6 GA-xGA

What went right in 2022:

It’s hard to say what if anything went right or wrong for Matt Freese in 2022. Since he signed with the Philadelphia Union back at the end of 2018, the former-Harvard keeper was firmly considered the Union’s number two option behind Andre Blake, a three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Because of this, Freese has not played many minutes with the Union’s Senior Team (his most notable match came in the 2021 Eastern Conference Final against New York City) and was limited to second-team and U.S. Open Cup action.

Admittedly, Freese was just alright in MLS NEXT Pro play. His GA-xGA stats are nothing to get overly-excited about, and he wasn’t great in the U.S. Open Cup against Orland City SC either.

Still, Freese is highly regarded and considered to be a keeper who could have been one of the better starters in MLS had he not sat behind Blake, who’s the best in MLS.

What to improve:

If Freese needs anything, it’s playing time. He might be shaky in his first few appearances for New York City FC, but he’s good enough of a player that he should become accustomed to the pace of MLS soon enough. His shot-stopping and distribution are solid, he just needs first-team reps.

What to expect in 2023:

Freese isn’t going to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, but New York City is picking up a good player. While there’s no guarantee, it wouldn’t be shocking if Freese sat in the upper 50% of MLS keepers for some key stats. He may not be the perfect replacement for Sean Johnson, but he’ll be pretty close.

2023 NYCFC Player Previews

• Tony Alfaro
• Malte Amundsen
• Luis Barraza
• Maxime Chanot
• Maximo Carrizo
• Braian Crufré
• Chris Gloster
• Tayvon Gray
• Justin Haak
• Mitja Ilenič
• Alfredo Morales
• Kevin O’Toole
• Samuel “Kwaku” Owusu
• Keaton Parks
• Matías Pellegrini
• Gabriel Pereira
• Talles Magno
• Thiago
• Thiago Martins