Rapids select Avila in Re-Entry Draft, Casey and Freeman also picked

Colorado picks 25-year-old midfielder from Toronto, Casey picked by Philly, Freeman by the Revs

Eric Avila with Toronto

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Friday, December 14, 2012) – The Colorado Rapids selected Eric Avila, a 25-year-old midfielder who has spent the past two seasons with Toronto FC, with the sixth pick in today’s MLS Re-Entry Draft. The Rapids now have Avila’s rights and may negotiate a new contract with the player.

Also in today’s Re-Entry Draft, Colorado Rapids players Conor Casey and Hunter Freeman were selected, with Casey picked by the Philadelphia Union and Freeman picked by the New England Revolution.

Avila has played five seasons in MLS, first joining the league in 2008 with FC Dallas after being selected 19th overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. He was traded halfway through the 2011 season to Toronto FC, and in 2012 he set career highs in games played (24), starts (16) and assists (3).

“Eric is a talented player and we’re eager to begin negotiating on a contract to bring him into the team,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo.

The Rapids had announced on November 16 that Casey would be departing the club, and the forward will now have the opportunity to negotiate with the Philadelphia Union for a new contract. Freeman, 27, was picked by New England, having played with the Rapids in 2012 for his second stint with the team after suiting up for Colorado in 2005-2006. He has played with three other MLS clubs, and was also a member of IK Start in Norway. He played 19 games in 2012, with five assists.

“Hunter was an important part of our team in 2012, and while we’re going in a different direction, we appreciate what he added to our group,” said Bravo. “We hope he will do well with New England in 2013 and beyond.”