The best in the world can go on scoring droughts.
From Thierry Henry and Martin Palermo to Fernando Torres and Landon Donovan.
Fredy Montero knows that he’s not immune.
“It’s something that is actually natural,” Montero said.
It may be easier for Montero to smile about the drought today. On Friday, the 23-year-old Colombian striker ended his goal-less streak at 1,094 minutes, dating back to a game-winning goal in stoppage time against the Chicago Fire on August 28, 2010.
At that point, he was among the league-leaders with 10 goals and was high on the list of MLS MVP candidates. The Sounders FC continued to have success, even while their all-time scoring leader was absent from the scoresheet, going 5-5-3 in those matches before he broke free against Colorado.
Now, their strike force grows stronger because of Montero’s return to the scoring ranks.
“It definitely helps his confidence,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Anytime a goal-scorer scores a goal it helps them in terms of their level of belief. He’s going to continue to work hard. The team knows he can score goals and he is capable of that and we need him to come through with goals.”
Montero now has 23 goals in 65 MLS matches, including playoffs, to lead the Sounders all-time. His scoring has proved important to Seattle’s success – the team is 14-2-5 in games that he scores.
With his goal on Friday, he now has a hand in a goal in each of the Sounders last two matches, assisting on the stoppage-time equalizer by Alvaro Fernandez against the Philadelphia Union.
While he leads the league with 11 shots on goal, he was encouraged to finally break through on Friday. The difference, Montero said, has been simple.
“I think it is as simple as finishing,” he said. “I’ve been working on finishing and that’s what I’ve changed.”
Montero will look to add to his total on Saturday when the Sounders face Toronto FC at 7 pm at Qwest Field. Toronto is one of only four teams that Montero has not scored against in MLS play that he has played against.
He will enter the match with a new cast on his surgically repaired right wrist. Since surgery on March 31, Montero has been in five different casts. The one he had on his wrist Tuesday was equipped with a “bone stimulator,” designed to deliver electric current to the bone to encourage healing of fractured bones. While he was encouraged by the process of the bone stimulator, it will not get him out of a cast any sooner.
“At first I felt happy because I thought it was going to reduce the amount of time I would be in a cast, but then they told me that it would be the same number of weeks,” Montero said. “I think they are going to change the cast because they won’t let me play with this lump on my wrist.”