Toronto FC Top 31 Countdown: Number 24 - Stefan Frei

This picture looked like it was sad enough to describe the season that Frei had in 2012. Injured again, dang! - Jim Rogash

After ending 2011 injured, he looked good to reclaim his spot as the starting goalie, but an early injury killed off his season. Just 90 minutes of playing time against LA this season was enough to get him this high, matching his shirt number, at 24, it's Stefan Frei.

Average Ranking: 23
Highest Ranking: 10
Lowest Ranking: 31

Dave: 28 Fresh of a training stint with Liverpool FC, Stefan Frei was back with Toronto FC and ready to reclaim his number one job in goal. He missed the end of 2011 through injury and while he was on the sidelines he watched Milos Kocic do his best to take over the number one job and help push Toronto into the knockout rounds of the CCL. He was healthy now though and ready to take back his starting job.

In pre season he looked really good. Gone was the beaten down look he developed over an overly busy and trying 2011 season behind what passed for a defence in the first two thirds of the season. He showed a new aggressiveness in controlling his box, often standing a few yards off the line at corners to be able to come out and catch the ball. Allied to his shot stopping ability, this augured very well for a new more dominant Frei. He got the start in the game at the Rogers Centre and it didn't really work all that well. He was at fault for LA's first, a little too eager in coming for a cross that he missed to allow an easy finish for Mike Magee. His starting position at corners was also exposed, almost disastrously when David Beckham came very very close to scoring an 'Olympico' directly from a corner, maybe this aggressiveness wasn't such a good thing after all.

It was still a surprise when Aron Winter went with Milos Kocic to start the second leg, and then things got worse for Frei with the injury on March 23rd that spelled the end of his season, that freak injury in training meant that Frei was sidelined and had to have surgery to repair torn ligaments in his ankle.

In 2012 Frei would only play 90 minutes and for the first time in his career he made less than 25 starts for TFC. Since the club drafted him 13th overall in 2009 Frei had been a rock in goal and is now the club's longest serving, or should I say suffering, player. Year after year he has been one of the few bright spots in this team so having him go down and miss almost the entire 2012 season was a huge blow both in terms of on field talent and the leadership that he provides. Kocic proved again to be a capable backup but some of the costly mistakes that he would make from time to time only helped to illustrate just how valuable a healthy Stefan Frei can be to this club.

He plans to be back and fit for the 2013 season which will be a huge boost. Now the question is just which of the four goalies currently on the roster will actually be here when the new season kicks off. Paul Mariner seems very set in the belief that Frei is the number one, so he'll be back next year, let's hope 2013 is injury free for him.

Duncan: 27 Two straight years with injury problems isn't a good sign, but hopefully he can come back strong in 2013, and hopefully we can actually put a decent defence in front of him so he can return to looking as good as he did behind Preki's defence in 2010. Grew a great beard in his time off.

Michael: 26 Though he never played, he stayed around the team and we are fortunate to be getting him back next year

John: 23Injury means a lower rating, maybe next year.

Kristin: 19 His ranking gets a bump for his past service - and for consistently being around the team. The true #1 keeper for the team.

The Yorkies: 24 Will be much higher next year if healthy. Plus it matches his stupid shirt number. Get a # 1 FFS.

The Ghost Of TFC Future: Conceded two goals in his only appearance in the CCL. Still, he ranks fourteenth. That's saying a lot.

DichioTFC: If there were a N/A option, I'd take it, but there's no worse contribution than making no contribution whatsoever, especially when expected to lead the team to never before seen heights. Losing your co-captain for the entire season has to be the biggest disappointment in a season of massive disappointments. Thankfully Frei will be back in 2013, but for the lack of contribution on the field, Frei unfortunately gets my lowest mark. Special kudos to him for making the best of his time off, donating much time and money to the MLS Works Foundation and other charities. 2013 is Super Stefan Frei's opportunity for a renaissance.

Prizby: Any other year, Frei would be somewhere between 5 and 10, but in one game this year, while making some outstanding saves, he managed to temporarily lose the starting job until his unfortunate injury during training, which led to him missing the rest of the year. The reason he isn’t higher (24) is because of the goal that was gifted to Mike Magee, but it is a small sample size to judge on.

Sir Alphonso Applegate: Didn't play at all this season basically, but there is no way Stefan Frei is not a top 10 piece on this squad.

Ignirtoq: Get well soon.

JC Plante: Even though he didn't play his absence made an impact, why Freddy Hall????

David Kent: Great shot stopper,requires better positioning, and crosses.

Antonio: I didn't rank him higher (28) because he only played one game and it wasn't a league game.

Panos Kelamis: Good beard

Number 23: Freddy Hall

Number 25: Matt Stinson

Full Top 31 Countdown

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