In what has mostly been a quiet offseason for the Sounders just got interesting this morning. With the team desperately needing to find a high-quality player with little cap space to fill the absence left by Jordan Morris tearing his ACL again, finding that player would prove no easy feat. Pulso Sports is the first to report that the Sounders are in negotiations of bringing back fan favorite Fredy Montero. After playing two seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps for a second stint, Montero became a free agent. Soon after Pulso broke the news, multiple sources have confirmed that the club is indeed in talks of bringing back the club icon.
The Colombian striker played for the Sounders from 2009-2012 establishing his legacy among the fan base becoming the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 47 goals and winning three US Open Cup Championships. Fredy would go on to play in Colombia, Portugal, and China before returning to MLS in 2017 on loan to the Vancouver Whitecaps. He would make his second stint with the Whitecaps in 2019 on a permanent transfer. Despite playing all over the world, Montero still has deep ties to the city of Seattle. He married his wife and started his own family in the city. In an interview with King 5 News in 2019, Montero described Seattle as his “Forever Home.” That same year, he also opened up his own coffee shop in the Roosevelt neighborhood not far from the University of Washington campus.
Does It Make Sense to Bring Him Back?
With the Sounders lacking wingers it was reported yesterday by Sounder at Heart that Head Coach Brian Schmetzer would be looking into experimenting with new formations. In an interview Schmetzer stated he would like using either a 3-5-2 formation or a 4-4-2 diamond formation. Montero is a striker not a winger and wouldn’t fill the void but his presence on the team takes care of another need. A veteran core of strikers. Anytime Raul Ruidiaz has been away on national team duty or injured, the Sounders have lacked the experienced strikers to come off the bench even if Will Bruin starts the match. That’s something the club desperately needs. Now imagine Ruidiaz, Bruin, and Montero all on the pitch at the same time together.
His on-field productivity may be waning, but Sounder at Heart reported that Raul Ruidiaz is the only Sounder on the roster who maintains a better MLS Goals Per 90 minutes than Montero’s .44mark. It’s a distinction that not even Clint Dempsey or Obafemi Martins had. In his three seasons with the Whitecaps, Montero had a respectable 0.45goals despite scoring 22 goals in that span. Fredy is still an effective forward.
How Will Montero Be Utilized?
At 33 years old returning to the Sounders will likely be the last leg of Fredy Montero’s professional playing career. Having played all over the world at the highest-level, Montero has been through it all as professional soccer player. I speculate with the Sounders strapped tight on cash and the direction of the team hanging on the status of Jordan Morris, Montero will likely be signed at a lower fee for at least one year with an option to extend his contact depending on his performance throughout the season and the club is content on keeping him after 2021.Tactically, Fredy may be used as a strike partner with Ruidiaz or may be brought in off the bench in the second half as a super substitute. In case Ruidiaz is hurt or away on national team duty, Montero will likely get his share of starts too. He not only gives the Sounders another veteran striker but much more. He can be a free kick taker; he can even send in set pieces and corners too. The ability for Schmetzer to have multiple players at his disposal who can take free kicks, corners and set pieces makes the team even more deadly for opponents to handle. The more options the better.
Many supporters wished that one day Fredy Montero would return to the Sounders and that day may be finally here at last. A return of club icon would certainly give the fans something to rave about.