Jan. 15, 2009
BERKELEY - Former California men's soccer player Stefan Frei was the first goalkeeper selected in the 2009 MLS Super Draft conducted Friday in St. Louis, Mo. Toronto FC drafted Frei with the 13th overall pick in the first round. Despite having one year of eligibility left, Frei concluded his collegiate career last fall, when he helped the Golden Bears reach the third round of the NCAA College Cup.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for an outstanding player," said Cal head coach Kevin Grimes. "Stefan has made a huge impact with our program both on and off the field. This is a great tribute to our program and it is due to the success that we have had. Our administration, alumni and current Cal players should all be very proud."
This marks the fifth straight year in which MLS teams drafted Cal players, a span that encompasses Cal head coach Kevin Grimes' first five recruiting classes and 12 former Bears. The 11 other Bears are Andrew Jacobson (DC United) and Luke Sassano (New York Red Bulls), who were drafted in 2008, Eric Ebert (Houston Dynamo, SuperDraft), Nick Hatzke (Houston Dynamo, Supplemental Draft), Steve Purdy (Los Angeles Galaxy, Supplemental Draft), who were drafted in 2007, Calen Carr (Chicago Fire, SuperDraft), Tyson Wahl (Kansas City, SuperDraft) and Eric Kronberg (Kansas City, SuperDraft), who were drafted in 2006, and Troy Roberts (Los Angeles, SuperDraft), Mike Munoz (Chivas USA, Supplemental Draft) and Noah Merl (San Jose Earthquakes, Supplemental Draft) who were drafted in 2005.
Frei will be the 15th current and active professional soccer player from Cal. With Purdy recently signing with FC Dallas, Cal now has 11 former players active in the MLS and is one of the top collegiate programs for active players in the league. Purdy will be playing for Coach Schellas Hyndman, who was also Grimes' head coach at SMU.
Frei, a member of this year's Generation adidas, made the All-Pac-10 first team, the NSCAA Far West All-Region team and also named to Top Drawer Soccer's Team of the Season. At the beginning of the season, he was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Award Watch List. Frei tied current Cal goalkeeper coach Henry Foulk for fourth on the school's all-time list in career shutouts in Cal's 3-0 victory over San Francisco in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He followed that performance with a season-best 11 saves against UCSB in the second round. Frei's goals-against average of 0.68 at the end of the regular season was a conference best and ranked him 22nd in the nation. He also led the Pac-10 in shutouts with eight and in save percentage (.829).