Stefan Frei

Frei Finds Inspiration At Bernabéu

TORONTO – For Stefan Frei, the highlight of the Generation adidas trip to Spain happened off the pitch, when an opportunity to watch Real Madrid play in the Champions League presented itself.

“Sitting in the stands, listening to the Champions League music as the players came out – it gave me goosebumps,” the Toronto FC goalkeeper told

The night out at the famed Santiago Bernabéu for los Merengues’ 4-0 win over Auxerre was an exciting and inspiring experience for the 24-year-old Swiss. But the success of the Generation adidas trip gives Frei the confidence that MLS players can compete with anyone.

“The overall results were great,” Frei said of the team that went 3-0 on the trip, allowing only one goal. “I actually thought that the level of competition we played was better this year [as compared to 2009], but we really came together.

The Generation adidas trip came at a perfect time for Frei. After a month of mostly conditioning work, he was ready to put the gloves back on and face some shots. Now back in North America, he says it’s time to hit the gym hard again.

“The offseason for me is about doing conditioning work without the worry of an injury or setback,” Frei said. “I’m really looking to add some strength and maybe drop a little weight.”

Increasing his flexibility is also a big part of his focus, so Frei is in constant contact with the TFC training staff to ensure that he is on the right path.

“The staff are really good,” he said. "The goal is to stay flexible and become even more flexible."

With training camp just six weeks away, Frei is already thinking ahead to 2011 and about what Toronto need to do to finally make it into the playoffs. But he’s confident that the Reds will succeed in the upcoming season.

“You might worry that you can’t turn it around,” Frei said, “but look at New York last year. If we can make just a few adjustments, we feel that we can do what New York did.”