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Toronto FC Top 31 Countdown: Number 23 - Freddy Hall

A backup goalie, who got the chance to prove he should be back next year, but didn't really take it. Talented but inconsistent, at Number 23, it's Freddy Hall.

Yeah, that's how we all felt Freddy, that's how we all felt.
Yeah, that's how we all felt Freddy, that's how we all felt.
Alex Trautwig

Average Ranking: 21.65
Highest Ranking: 12
Lowest Ranking: 30

Duncan: 24 Goalkeeper seemed to be the one spot where there were few worries for TFC fans this year. Stefan Frei and Milos Kocic were both capable starters no matter who was number one. When Frei got injured though, it all got a bit panicky. Quillan Roberts was called up to the first team squad as backup, presumably ahead of his original career development plan, but that was never really a good long term plan, and so it was that in the summer transfer window, Freddy Hall appeared, first for a trial, and then, as broken first by Reggie Lambe on twitter and the Bermudan newspapers, signed up for the rest of the season.

Some suggested he did have a green card and let's hope so otherwise it's a puzzling way to use an international spot, on someone who'd barely even played down at the bottom end of the football league in England. Ah, who are we kidding, England, Bermuda, he had everything Paul Mariner looks for in a player, as well as what seemed a talent for some Mariner-esque hyperbole, in the article linked above.

"Toronto is a real first class club so it's really amazing to even be apart of it."

LOL and, might I add, ROFL.

He made his first appearance against Liverpool, and soon enough got his chance in the first team. It became fairly clear that Stefan Frei was Mariner's first choice for next year, and would we be able to keep Kocic as backup on the improved salary he deserved? Maybe not, so it made sense to see what Hall could do, see if he could be a capable backup next year. I've got nothing against the decision to give him a few league games, the season was gone, playing in the home leg against Santos Laguna was a shocker of a decision though.

He didn't really impress in his trial did he? He's got some talent for sure, he made some good saves, had some good games, coming close to a clean sheet against Santos Laguna for example. but seemed to lack the mental focus necessary to cut down on mistakes, which were plentiful.

There was the deflected goal in his first game against Columbus, and getting beat at the near post in the home game against Santos Laguna, both maybe not entirely his fault, then there was the game in Kansas City. Curious positioning allowed the first goal to bounce over him and into the net, and the second was flat out terrible, robbing TFC of a point in the 87th minute. As Thomas Rongen said "Mr. Hall, you've got to do better there, it's as simple as that."

During the game I tweeted about him having fun with the SKC fans, counting out a beat with his fist as they counted the seconds he was taking on a goal kick, which got the following reply from the SKC supporters group the Cauldron, which just made that 2nd goal look even worse.

Focused on *us* all 2nd half. ": freddy hall trolling the kc fans? counting along with them as they try to hurry him up. fun."

After that, Kocic was back in the team, but when the fertile Serb was occupied with triplets, Hall got plenty more action in the long slow death march to the end of the season, The first of those was in L.A and who can forget Juninho's free kick goal? "Alright Wall, you take the right side, I'll take the right side, and oh, look at that, he scored in the left side". He let in 4 that game, and 4 again the week after in New York, and that's when it seemed he really realised what he'd let himself in for, the smile he wore in his first few games, even for example after kicking a goal kick straight into touch, replaced with the frustrated look that first Stefan Frei and then Milos Kocic had perfected over the last couple of years.

Will he be back next year? I've got to say I doubt it. If Kocic can be brought back at a reasonable salary, he's definitely a better bet, and even if not, there's got to be some average North American goalie who can be brought in at the minimum level and be a reliable back up. At the very least he'll live on in TFC history whenever pictures or video of the BMO cat are dug up.

John: 30 He's not even the No Name brand of goal keeper, he's that bad. For those of you who are fans of RuPaul's Drag Race (And I suspect that few of you are...but let me indulge my inner diva for once, okay?) -- I feel it's appropriate for me to paraphrase Ru's final words to a defeated contestant:

"Sashay away, Freddy Hall. Sashay away...where we will never see you again."

Dave: 24 Got a few games near the end of the season but did very little to impress. He did come up with the occasional big save but it was the stupid mistakes that will be the lasting memory of his season. He made far too many simple errors to inspire any confidence.

Michael: 12 Reasonable backup.

Kristin: 24 Waste of an international spot.

The Ghost of TFC Future: At times, I would have preferred to see Jeremy Hall between the pipes. Can't see how using an international slot for him was better than playing Quillan Roberts. At least we had the infintessimal chance of a goal from Quillan.

The Yorkies: His once infectious smile gave way to exasperation in about 5 matches. Deep # 2 at best.

Jon Spratt: Not good enough to be a starter in MLS.

Casual Soccer Fan: One good showing in Torreon. Otherwise, not good enough.

DichioTFC: A great goalkeeper inspires confidence in his backline, which reverberates throughout the team. A flashy save, a confident caught cross, and well placed goal kick - the impact goalkeepers have on this game is often understated. Freddy Hall was one player who did not inspire any confidence in his team whatsoever. Fans and players alike seemed relieved when Freddy made a save. Too many easy goals were let in for Freddy to be back with this team next year. MLS Reserves or NASL is where Freddy should be next year, not TFC's number one.

Prizby: While he has the ability to make some massive diving saves, Hall fell victim to too many simple mistakes (we all remember the gaff at Sporting Kansas City on September 1st), which evidently has caused him to be among the leading contenders through the opinion of vocal fans to be on his way out, despite being a perceived favourite of Mariner's.

Sir Alphonso Applegate: Terrible goalie. He didn't seem to offer anything and he even looked like he didn't have faith in his own talents.

Ignirtoq: Surely the Antiguan keeper had to be better and available.

Panos Kelamis: Looks like a club keeper with the meat pies

David Kent: I don't know, good on crosses, reacts too slow on shots sometimes. Can improve

Number 22: Andrew Wiedeman

Number 24: Stefan Frei

Full Top 31 Countdown