Former Virginia standout defender Hunter Freeman has signed a multiyear contract with the Houston Dynamo, marking a return to the MLS after spending the past two years for the Norwegian club IK Start. The Dynamo acquired the rights to Freeman from the New York Red Bulls, as well as the Red Bulls' third-round draft pick in 2012, in exchange for allocation money.
"I'm very happy to acquire Hunter," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said in a press release. "I've always liked the way he plays. He can play on the left or right, he likes to attack, and I enjoyed his company when I worked with him on a Generation adidas trip. So I'm happy to see him come back to MLS and playing for us."
While at Virginia from 2002 – 2004, Freeman was named to the 2004 All-ACC First Team and the 2004 NSCAA/adidas All-American Third Team squads. His accolades include being named to the Team of the Week on a number of occasions by Soccer America, College Soccer News, among others. He led the team in 2004 with 27 points, and currently holds the school record for single-season assists (21).
Following his 2004 season, he was selected seventh overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, where he played for two years. In 2007, he was traded to New York Red Bull, where he scored his first MLS goal in a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas. Finally, despite having already agreed to the Norwegian club I.K. Start, where he currently plays, Toronto FC traded to acquire him for just a few months.
Freeman scored his first goal for Start on July 11, 2009, from an impressive 40 meters away, over approximately 15 players and a keeper who was content to just watch the ball sail by.
"Not just being back in the U.S., but being back in my home state, it feels good already," Freeman, a Tyler, Texas native who grew up near Dallas, said in a release. "[The] Dynamo is an organization I wanted to come to, and it all worked out in the end, and I’m happy to be here."
Freeman's wife, Jamie, however, continues to play for Amazon Grimstad in Norway.
The Houston Dynamo that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first five seasons and represented the United States in international competition four consecutive years from 2007-10.