Fredy Montero is at home in Seattle.
He owns a house there. His family has moved up from Colombia to support him. He talks about the city with a pride that sounds like he has been there for years.
However, his heart still bleeds for his homeland in Colombia.
You can see it in his many goal celebrations, which often include the 23-year-old forward acknowledging a Colombian flag wrist band with either a kiss or a point from his finger.
When heavy rains in December caused mass flooding and mudslides in his hometown of Campo de la Cruz, he responded quickly with a visit to the city to help in any way he could.
He also helped organize a flood relief fundraiser in Seattle and, through the help of Mercy Corps, the Sounders FC, Emerald City Supporters, Gorilla FC, the North End Faithful and many other Sounders FC fans around the world, he raised over $29,000 to assist in efforts to help those affected by flooding in Colombia.
“It’s amazing to help these people,” Montero said. “It’s not difficult for me because I’m just trying to help some people from my home land. It’s very important to me to have the support from the league, from the Seattle Sounders and from the fans - I just want to say thank you to everybody.”
For his efforts, Montero was named the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month for March.
Montero is the third Sounder player to earn the award in the last two seasons, joining Sanna Nyassi (April, 2010) and James Riley (October, 2010). Along with the award came a presentation of a check for 1,500 dollars to Mercy Corps to assist further in the flood relief efforts.
“There is still more to do,” Montero said. “I am here in Seattle, but I just want people to know that I’m still thinking about it and trying to help as many people as I can in Colombia.”
Montero was joined at the presentation by Colombian rock star Juanes, who also expressed great pride in the work done by his young countryman.
The Sounders face the Colorado Rapids Wednesday night at Qwest Field in the Community Shield match presented by adidas, with proceeds benefiting the Sounders FC charity partners. They will kick off the 2011 season on Tuesday against the LA Galaxy in a nationally televised game on ESPN at Qwest Field.