Before They Were Cosmos: Hunter Freeman

Cosmos defender Hunter Freeman talks about his life on and off the pitch.
Published Aug 6, 2015

Growing up in Tyler, Texas, soccer wasn’t the only sport Hunter Freeman played. 

The Cosmos defender was a multisport athlete, and if he wasn’t playing soccer, he is confident he would be playing another sport.

“I’d like to be a professional golfer,” Freeman said of another career. “I know there are things that make it difficult. But I think it would be a nice life.”

The journey to New York was a long and winding one for Freeman. When he was younger, he played both soccer and baseball, and took an interest in golf when he was a teenager. Freeman picked soccer, but kept golf as a hobby.

“We lived in a golf course community and my parents always played. It’s just natural that I tried it,” Freeman said. “It’s something I enjoy. I can be pretty good sometimes.”

While 18 holes on a nice, sunny day can be very appealing, Freeman also enjoys another hobby that is a little different.

“I grew up in Texas, so hunting is something my family did,” he added. “I always went with my dad, my brother, and uncles. We would go hunting, but a lot of it was just hanging out at the cabin, grilling out, and just bonding was always what was fun for me.”

Now, Freeman rarely gets opportunities to hunt or play golf due to his busy career and family life.

“Now that I have kids, I have less time to play golf. I haven’t got to hunt in a long time as well because living up here makes that difficult,” Freeman said. “Both are things I enjoy and I’d jump at any opportunity to do it.”

There is a good reason for Freeman’s busy schedule, as he recently signed a contract extension with the Cosmos, who are in the midst of a strong season.

“I think this year’s team, if you look at the roster on paper, is the strongest team we’ve ever had,” Freeman said. “Any guy can start every week so the battle for those spots and positions is vital every week and that’s something we haven’t always had in every position the past few years.”

But for Freeman, this season has been a difficult one. After sitting for months, Freeman played a couple games for New York Cosmos B before returning to the first team.

“I was out for three months, so to be able to grease the wheels a little bit and play a little slower pace, it was good,” Freeman said. “Being out for that long of a time, it helped to be able to play some games.”

While Freeman was out, he briefly joined the ONE World Sports broadcast team. Even though he couldn’t be battling with his teammates, it was an experience he was happy to have.

“I didn’t really know what I was getting into but I enjoyed it. There’s still a lot to learn,” he said. “It’s also gotten easier the more I’ve done it. I think ther will be more opportunities for that in the future.”

Now that Freeman is back in action, he has to deal with different challenges, like trying to defend Spanish star Raúl in practice.

“It’s picking your poision a little bit because someone like [Raúl], with his quality, he usually sees stuff way in advance. It’s not so much trying to defend him, but read what he has already seen,” Freeman said. “You can’t do everything so you’ve got to choose what is least likely to hurt you.”

Freeman scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's 2-0 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. On Wednesday, he scored a highlight reel goal to give the Cosmos a 2-1 win over Minnesota United FC. Freeman and the Cosmos are hoping to keep the good vibes coming for the rest of the season.